Memoryscape logo Voices from the hidden history of the Thames
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Ash Island
Motor Boat Club
Cigarette Island
The Pavilion
Chalets and Bungalows
Thames Ditton Marina
Waterworks Reach
The Broken Boat
Raven's Ait
Swans and Ducks
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  picture of broken boat on a pontoon  
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 Download Transcript (23 kb)
The broken boat used to be a houseboat moored near Kingston Bridge. It leaked badly and was finally scrapped. It's been in this barge for at least six years. You can see the tip of the bow sticking up in this picture. The float hit the bank near some modern pontoons a little bit further on, where Ossie Stewart from Harts Boat Yard, who owns the pontoons, came to see what I was up to. Ossie has been involved in a bitter dispute with some houseboat owners here over mooring rights. I decided not to include the dispute, partly because the legal battle is ongoing which makes it difficult for the parties to speak openly and partly because, in audio terms, it would have taken a lot of the CD to interview enough people to explain it in a balanced way. You may decide that this as a case of history being too fresh to explore, or perhaps it is a limitation of the memoryscape concept. I felt that this interview, along with another about the decline of houseboats in Kingston later in the walk, gives enough information to make people realise that the number of houseboats on the river has declined a great deal, and that this has probably been the most dramatic change in the landscape of this relatively unchanging stretch of river in the last century.



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