Boats and boating on the tidal Crane
In the 1970s some families living along both sides of the tidal Crane got together to clear the river of rubbish and make it properly navigable again. The river already had a boating tradition, with a commercial boatyard at its mouth operating at least until the 1930s and a number of craft dotted along its banks. With the clearing of rubbish (which included motorbikes, fridges and water tanks) the residents celebrated with rides up and down the river in their boats, a family tea and an evening barbecue - an event that has continued ever since with our annual River Celebration Day.
Today, there are over 25 craft moored on the tidal Crane at the bottoms of residents' gardens or their riverbanks including small launches, fishing boats with and without engines, canoes, kayaks, the increasingly popular Whaly boats and, more recently, paddle boards. There is even a small narrow boat!
From the tidal Crane you can go out onto the Thames to one of our beautiful river side pubs such as the White Swan at Twickenham, where you can moor on the 'beach' when the tide is right. Or head downstream to the London Apprentice at Isleworth where there is a mooring slipway. For a more ambitious trip you could carry on to Brentford and up the river Brent and Grand Union Canal.
The reach of river as you leave the Crane for the Thames is picturesquely named 'Sheen Gull'.
To look up tides see www.pla.co.uk/Safety/Tide-Tables and add 1 hr to the times shown for London Bridge.
Find out more, including choosing and buying a boat, reading the tides, hints and tips here.