Eel Pie Island in London

Friday, 13 December 2019 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, London
Reading Time:  4 minutes

The Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham © flickr.com - Jim Linwood/cc-by-2.0

The Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham © flickr.com – Jim Linwood/cc-by-2.0

Eel Pie Island is a 8.935-acre (3.6 ha) island in the River Thames at Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is on the maintained minimum head of water above the only lock on the Tideway and is accessible by boat or from the left (generally north) bank by footbridge. The island had a club that was a major venue for jazz and blues in the 1960s.

The island has about 50 homes, 120 inhabitants and two or three boatyards, as well as some other small businesses and artists’ studios. It has nature reserves at both ends, protected from public access. All plots and walkways are privately owned. The public can access the island’s main pathway from the bridge, which does not skirt or overlook any of its shore. For brief periods each year, usually in June and December, 26 studios in and around a working boatyard, collectively known as Eel Pie Island Art Studios, open to the public, enabling them to enjoy and buy the artists’ works. The island is home to Twickenham Rowing Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs on the Thames, and Richmond Yacht Club.

© Motmit/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham © flickr.com - Jim Linwood/cc-by-2.0 Twickenham Rowing Club on Eel Pie Island © Yeti Hunter/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bridge over River Thamse connecting Twickenham and Eel Pie Island © Antonio Borrillo © Iridescenti/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Iridescenti/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Iridescenti/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Bridge over River Thamse connecting Twickenham and Eel Pie Island © Antonio Borrillo
The island was the site of the Eel Pie Island Hotel, a genteel, 19th-century building that hosted ballroom dancing during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1956, trumpeter Brian Rutland, who ran a local band called The Grove Jazz Band, started jazz sessions at the newly reopened hotel. Some time afterwards, Arthur Chisnall took over the running of the club and continued to promote various jazz bands and then, in the 1960s, rock and R&B groups. Famous names who performed at the dance hall between 1957 and 1967 include: Long John Baldry’s Hoochie Coochie Men (including Rod Stewart), Acker Bilk, Ken Colyer, Cyril Davies Rhythm & Blues All Stars, The Downliners Sect, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (featuring Eric Clapton), George Melly, The Rolling Stones, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Tridents (featuring Jeff Beck), The Who, and The Yardbirds.

In 1967, the hotel was forced to close because the owner could not meet the £200,000 cost of repairs demanded by police. In 1969, the club briefly reopened as Colonel Barefoot’s Rock Garden, with bands such as Black Sabbath, The Edgar Broughton Band, Stray, Genesis, and Hawkwind (then known as Hawkwind Zoo) performing there. In 1971, the Eel Pie Island Hotel burned down in a mysterious fire.

Read more on TimeOut.com – So you’ve never been to… Eel Pie Island, Londonist.com – Meet The Inhabitants Of Eel Pie Island, Eel Pie Island Museum and Wikipedia Eel Pie Island (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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