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The Royal Drawing School Foundation Year 2018/19 End of Year Exhibition at Trinity Buoy Wharf from 14 June to 20 June 2019

Trinity Buoy Wharf is home to a number of creative organisations, one of these organisations is The Royal Drawing School which is holding its Foundation Year End of Year Exhibition 2018-19 between Friday 14 June – Thursday 20 June 2019.

The Royal Drawing School was founded in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales and artist Catherine Goodman as The Prince’s Drawing School but became the Royal Drawing School in 2014. The school was created to address the need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK, they offering tuition and resources to art students, artists, children and the public.

The Royal Drawing School runs over 250 different full and part-time drawing courses each year for adults and children of all ages and abilities from three London campuses in Shoreditch, Chelsea and Trinity Buoy Wharf. The school also collaborates with a number of institutions including The National Gallery, The British Museum and the Royal Academy.

Photo copyright – The Royal Drawing School

The Foundation Year is often tailored to individuals planning to go on to study an arts subject at university. The course helps students to develop the making and thinking skills needed for the next level of study and provides a route to a number of creative disciplines.

So if you would like to take a trip to the wonderful world of Trinity Buoy Wharf and look at the work of talented artists, why not make a visit between the 14th June and 20th June. The exhibition is open from 11am – 6pm and admission to the exhibition is free.

Painting by Rollain Muanda

Artists involved are Rebecca Ashford, Joseph Barton, Rowan Bazley, Jessica Berry, Josephine Binney, Bella Blazwick-Noble, Lois Burton, Jojo Cole, Ashleigh Darling, Ella de Peretti, Bruno Diaz, Lily Elgood, Minnie Fawcett-Tang, Kezzie Florin-Sefton, Octavia Greig, Isgard Hague, Nancy Harper, Ruby Head, Jasmine Hewitt, Aisling Kamara, Sophie Langton, Elle Lycett, Fred MacKenzie-Williams, Niam Madlani, Rachel Marston, Ciara Mckenna, Rollain Muanda, Lily Orset, Nancy Pilkington, Virginia Serafini, Emilia Shafiee, Lily Smith, Sophia Sofianou, Lance Soleta, Finn Stevenhagen, Isis Taylor-Hudson, Natasha Thomas, Mollie Thompson, Jessie Urbach, Serena Walker, Scarlett Ward, Purdey Williams, Zhilin Xu (Grace), Onosiokhue Yakubu.

The Royal Drawing School also runs a Foundation Masterclass which is an intensive summer course for young artists aged 16-19, who are thinking about heading to art school. This offers unique opportunity to hone skills, build a portfolio, and experience an art school environment.

For more information about the exhibition and the Foundation course, visit The Royal Drawing website here

Travelling instructions to Trinity Buoy Wharf

Canning Town (Jubilee Line/DLR) is the nearest station, a 10 minute walk from Trinity Buoy Wharf. Take the ‘London City Island’ exit and cross the red bridge, follow the path through London City Island, and continue straight along the road, past the roundabout into Trinity Buoy Wharf.


The London County Council Steamboat Service 1905 – 1907


Anyone who walks alongside the Thames cannot fail to notice the Thames Clippers plying their trade up and down the river.

It seems incredible that since the 1840s, many companies have tried to run regular boat services along the Thames to link east and west London but most have ended in failure. This failure seems all the more remarkable when you consider other river services around the world have had considerable success.

A recent postcard sent by Eric Pemberton bought to my attention a riverboat service from the early 20th century that started with great optimism but quickly was abandoned.

In 1905 the London County Council launched its own public river transport service , acquiring piers and investing in a large fleet of 30 paddle-steamers.  The fleet was to operate frequent services  from Hammersmith to Greenwich.


Many of the new boats had a local connection being built by the famous Thames Iron works at Blackwall and G. Rennie & Co at Greenwich. All the boats were virtually identical and could hold around 500 passengers, they were mostly named after famous people with a London connection.

It was in June 1905 that HRH the Prince of Wales opened the service travelling along the route  on the King Alfred. The opening of the service was not without controversy, newspaper reports both praised:

The Government had even allowed the Council a service of steamboats on the Thames. It would not run steamers to make an enormous profit, but to open up to Londoners a new highway. Municipal service was not to secure profits and. dividends, but to promote the general benefit of the community.

And condemned the scheme , many saw it has a waste of taxpayers money:

As for the Thames steam boats, a private company is said to have lost £10,000 in one year over them, : and, by analogy, it is safe to conclude that the Council could easily lose twice as much in the same time. The Thames, as we have often pointed out, is not a business thoroughfare, and does not run where it should if it is to be of any use to people going to and from their work. In Paris, which is the stock example, things are different. Our river can only he used for pleasure and not for business, and will never relieve the crush in the streets to any appreciable extent.

It quickly became clear that the doubters had been correct and it also became clear that the numbers needed to break even were not being met.

earl godwin

Photo  Dr J Meister

£15,000 WASTED.
At a specially convened meeting of the Rivers Committee of the London County Council held last month, it was unanimously decided to stop the running of the boats above London. Bridge, and to diminish still further the service between that point and Greenwich. A considerable saving in expenditure will thus be effected. That the great body of ratepayers are impatiently awaiting the notification that the whole of the boats will be laid up there is overwhelming evidence. As was only to be expected, the position, from the ratepayers’ point of view, grows rapidly worse. The following official figures bring home to everybody the folly of continuing the service:— . Week Ending Receipts. October 14  £351 36 , October 21  £215 13 , October 28  £250 15 0,  November 4  £250 11 0, November 11 , £165 17 6,  November 18  £140 0 0. In the meantime the service is still costing something like £2000 a week.


The operation struggled on until 1907, but the massive debts led to the operation being closed down. A newspaper report from 1908 remarks  on the services demise.

1908 – As for the Thames steamboats, they have, alas! become  a joke. The L.C.C. entered into the business with tremendous enthusiasm. They built new boats and christened them after the heroes of England. The project was ambitious, but laudable. It ought to have succeeded, But, as a matter of fact, it has proved an abject failure. The boats .were tied up all last winter, and only, started to run towards the latter end of last May. The comic papers to celebrate the joyous event, published illustrations  showing, all London thronging the Embankment, and gazing with intense eagerness towards the river, along which, slowly and majestically, a L.C.C. steam-boat was pushing her lonely way with one solitary and daring adventurer on board. Things are not quite so bad as this,but it is not to be denied that with the increased facilities for transit by train, tram, and motor buses, the Londoner no longer yearns to travel on dear old Father Thames.

originalsteamer ticket mol

The lack of customers was not the only the problems, the large and unwieldy boats had a series of accidents including one in a Martha Wilson from Deptford  was killed when she was crushed by two of the steamboats.

All that was left was to sell off the fleet, each boat cost £6500 to build and were sold off for a few hundred. A rival company, The City Steamboat Company bought fourteen of the boats and tried to run a profitable service but even they had to concede defeat  at the beginning of the First World War. Many of the other boats were snapped up at their bargain price and ended up being used all over Europe including Mesopotamia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

Other efforts to run a river service in the 20th century generally ended in failure including the service to Canary Wharf.

Which all goes to show that unlike the tube, trains and buses running passenger services on the Thames has rarely been profitable.