London's lost rivers... It's an intoxicating idea. Beneath our feet are the tributaries that have fed the Thames from ancient times, just covered or turned into sewers, popping up in unexpected places like the Westbourne piped through Sloane Square tube, or the occasional unfragrant re-appearance of the Fleet sewer into the Thames during heavy rain.
Although we call them 'lost', there's still plenty to discover about these rivers. And there are no two people better placed to impart all the river geek knowledge you'd ever want to know than Tom Bolton, who literally wrote the book on lost rivers, and poet Tom Chivers, whose ADRIFT project made urban pilgrimages down the courses of the Neckinger and Walbrook. The pair are unloading their brains as part of Londonist's Totally Thames talks during the weekend of 20-21 September.
Find out about the old dyeworks of the Wandle and the distilleries of Clerkenwell, the Necropolis railway and legends of coffins being washed away from West Norwood cemetery. There are vanished places like Agar Town and Tyburnia, holy wells, hangings and much, much more. They also want to hear your stories and thoughts about London's lost rivers, so come prepared with anecdotes and feel free to pepper them with questions.
It all takes place on HMS President and Londonist contributors will be hanging around the bar for a chat too (oh yes, there's a bar for a cheeky lunchtime snifter). And this writer will be hosting the event — see you there.
London's Lost Rivers: The Geek Off is on Saturday 20 September, 11am-12.30pm, on board HMS President at Victoria Embankment. Tickets £7.50, £5 concession per talk, or day pass (entry to three talks) £15, £12.50 concession. Tickets and more information are available online.
This event is part of Londonist Afloat: Terrific Tales of the Thames events for the Totally Thames festival.