A foreshore visit inspires a poet


Photo by Building Exploratory

In July we took a group of older Londoners from the Building Exploratory’s Senior BEEs and Islington Eyes groups on a guided walk of the foreshore at Custom House, as part of our Older Londoners project funded by City Bridge Trust.

The group really enjoyed the visit, one member said that what they enjoyed the most was being involved with the dirt and the mud and being let loose on it!

Peter Turner from the group was inspired by his visit to write a poem, which we’d like to share with you.

A friend or twenty,
While stone, orange London brick.
Brown brick, oysters shells.
Winkle shells, old bones.
Clay pipes, old bottles.

A friend or twenty.
Stone of all colours.
Rolling around in the river.
Older stone round and smooth.
The newest stone more square.
Getting the sinking feeling.

A friend or twenty.
A ship or a boat on the river.
A Viking about, a old lady of the river.
A patrol or two passing.
A sunken ship on the foreshore.
Tower bridge a lifting, a old lady lifting,
To a old lady of the river.

By Peter Turner


We are working with groups of older people across London, giving talks about our work, running hands-on workshops, leading guided walks on the foreshore and along the Thames Path, as well as training people to record and monitor Thames archaeology. If you are involved with a group with older members, or are over 75 yourself, and would be interested in organising a walk or talk or volunteering with us, please do get in touch! Contact Helen Johnston for more information.