Thames Side - early 1930s
A view downstream from Windsor Bridge towards
Thames Side with at least four steamers moored (real 'steam'
steamers in those days) plus another either arriving. When negotiating
Windsor Bridge, the steamers had to lower their funnels which
almost always meant that the passengers on the upper deck, aft,
got a few smuts on their clothes (if they were lucky) or in their
eyes, (if they were unlucky!)
Here is another view of the same
area from the early 1930s.
To the left is The Cobbler, a long thin strip of
jetty adjoining Romney Island and removed in 1998. In the days
of horse-drawn barges the horses would have to swim from the
end of The Cobbler to Thames Side to continue hauling the barges
In the distance, centre left,
is the engine house of the Southern Railway and The Donkey House
pub to the right of the manoeuvring steamer.
Around this time, but not at the
time this photograph was taken, a pathway was constructed from
Thames Side along the bank of the lock cut, downstream towards
Romney Lock. The path joined up with the road where it crossed
the railway track by way of a level crossing, which was removed
circa 1960s, and replaced by a footbridge. Vehicles were subsequently
routed through the former goods yard to the left of the station
rather than along Romney Lock Road and across the railway track.
This postcard by Frith is not
printed to the highest standards possible in those days and some
detail is almost impossible to make out, but it seems that the
steamer nearest the camera, on the right, is the Empress of India.
Inevitably many of the buildings along Thames Side
have been demolished and the sites redeveloped since WWII.
The quayside is very busy with perhaps
nine steamers moored up at the same time. This is because Salters
Steamers operated a scheduled service along the river in those
days, in both directions, as well as pleasure trips up and down
the river, so on a busy day in mid-summer, all the boats would
have been working hard.