All photos by José Farinha
If you weren't one of the hundreds of people who joined Londonist aboard HMS President at the weekend for two days of riverine talks as part of the Thames Festival, then you missed out.
But never fear — you can get a taste of what you missed (and remind yourself not to miss the next one) with our photo gallery.
Saturday's talks saw Tom Bolton and Tom Chivers go toe-to-toe in a geek-off about London's Lost Rivers — from the Fleet to the Effra, covering topics from skulls dug out of the mud to the Roman cult of Mithras.
Following the Toms' uncovering of underground parts of London, author Caitlin Davies and Chris Romer-Lee of the Thames Baths Project took a not-inconsiderable dip into the history of swimming in the Thames. Which led neatly into Matt Brown and Peter Berthoud's Thames Oddities talk. This included a brief overview of the history of fancy swimming — where women took to the water to swim while holding a parasol — among other topics including the history of tightrope walking over the river and daredevils flying planes beneath bridges.
Sunday's discussions revealed some of the more unusual myths and mysteries which swirl around the river, from tales of child sacrifice then the debunking of the story of the angel of the Thames, as Scott Wood and Robert Stephenson dug up some of the less savoury — and purely fanciful — elements of London's folklore.
More fact-based were presentations by Georgina Young of the London Museum and Christopher West on the history of West India Docks and St Katharine Docks, respectively. From criminal gangs to the impact the docks still have today, the two painted vivid portraits of these key engines of the capital's advancement.
The day finished with a family-friendly set of songs and tales of the river from London Dreamtime, during which songwriter Nigel of Bermondsey asked the audience for inspiration for a song, which he then wrote in 35 minutes.