How do Londoners and tourists regard the river Thames? This video was taken on a London City Cruise and you can hear the waterman’s commentary. I guess he loves the river but, like Joseph Conrad, sees it as being as much a place of darkness as a place of light – while also being a river of greatness, cruelty and folly, a place where kings are cruel and greedy, where most architects are fools and where the people remain cheerful, cynical and long-suffering. My view is that the river and its banks need enlightened planners, brilliant architects and imaginative landscape architects. That, and some money, could put London high in lists of the world’s top waterfront cities. The Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority (GLA) put their weight behind the 2012 Olympic Bid. They should now accept the challenge of getting near the top of these lists:
I do not know whether Joseph Conrad belonged to The Company of Watermen and Lightermen but he had many years experience as a seaman on the high seas, on the River Thames and in the West India Docks. I’m sure he would like to have London on these lists. He loved London, loved the Thames and lived in Tachbrook St, London SW1V 2NG.