Crowds flock to popular Tidefest

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The wind and the rain failed to dampen the spirits at this year’s Tidefest celebrations as crowds flocked to the banks of the River Thames.


Now in its fourth year, the annual event is held to celebrate the importance of the iconic river and the role it plays in everyday life for Londoners.


This year’s festival was sponsored by Thames Water and there was a host of activities organised throughout Sunday, including an angling championship, an open day at Beckton sewage works, river walks and tours, paddleboarding, plus live music to keep the crowds entertained.


Martin Salter, from the Angling Trust who organised the event, said: "We are really pleased with the growing popularity of TideFest, which is now in its fourth year with a host of new attractions including film shows, talks, live music, river walks and nature reserve visits.


“It is now firmly established in the Thames calendar and will continue grow with the generous support of our sponsors."


The event, part of the Totally Thames Festival, is organised by the Angling Trust, River Thames Society and London Wildlife Trust, with Thames Water sponsoring the event.


For the first time, activities took place on the Kew Bridge Piazza, including a demonstration of how a Victorian fire engine would have extinguished fires in the capital 150 years ago, including original appliances and actors from the London Museum of Water and Steam in period costume.


Events were also held at Richmond, Chiswick Pier, Brentford, Barnes, Deptford, Hackney, Beckton and other locations along the Thames Tideway, with activities such as arts and crafts, live music, charity stalls and children’s games.


Rebekah Kenyon, from Thames Water who helped organise the event, said: “Tidefest was a fantastic event this year, and it was great to see so many families celebrating the importance of the River Thames.


“Although it was a bit wet and windy, this did not deter all those who attended from having fun and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event!”


As well as celebrating the importance of the Thames, attendees were also educated about the role of London’s sewer system and how to protect the river, including a special appearance from Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster.


This helped promote Thames Water’s 'Bin it – don’t block it' campaign in the fight against fatbergs, which are a congealed mass of fats, oils and greases and other non-flushable items such as wet wipes, which clog up the city’s sewers and can cause serious issues such as sewer collapses.