Beachcombing Along the South Bank of River Thames

Most people probably do not realize that the Thames is tidal. I think you would have to travel about ten miles to find yourself in the English Channel from London via the river. People have lived along the banks of the Thames for probably more than two thousand years. It is very accessible and has been seriously good real estate for trading, which is why folks have lived there so long. As is to be expected, the inhabitants have thrown a lot of rubbish into the river over the years. Twice a day, this rubbish washes up along the shores of the River Thames.

Well, the Lawsons were on the loose Friday evening! We took yet another walk with London Walks. We embarked on this walk with about three dozen curious people from all over the world and one very sharp young archeologist.

You would not believe what lies along the bank waiting to be plucked from the flotsam and jetsam. Within minutes, we picked up roof tiles from the times when the Romans ruled London, or Londinnia, as they called it when they set up camp around 43 A.D. We picked up so many bones that we finally just chucked them back on the shore. Apparently, the river flows by an area that has been inhabited by butchers for centuries. Several people found sheep’s teeth, and there were more than enough femurs to go around.

We actually found a rather large shard of crockery from the Tudor period which was around the early 1500’s. That was probably our favorite find. Also, we picked up roofing tiles from Victorian days and crockery from the 1700’s. I threw back the little silver Matchbox car, although several little boys in our group seemed more impressed with it than with that dumb old piece of a Tudor bowl.


Funny thing, though, the regular old London residents were sitting on the wall watching us as if we had lost our minds. I had to wonder how many of them had never walked along the shore. Some things are the same everywhere. How many Beaufortonians have never taken a carriage ride in their own little corner of the world?


As we retraced our steps back across the Millenium Bridge towards the St. Paul’s tube stop, there appeared the most distinct and beautiful rainbow we have ever seen. Actually, there was a double rainbow. The bridge was clogged with people of all nationalities snapping pictures or just standing in awe of the beauty and the moment. Who cares if it is raining!

How I love this picture of Rick standing on the bridge in the rain staring at the rainbow holding the red umbrella with St. Paul’s in the background.


Some things are universal and timeless. As humans, we tend to get too bloody big for our boots fairly often. Then, suddenly, something like a rainbow can show us just how magical our world is. How wonderful it is to see that others also share our awe even though we don’t have much else in common. We don’t need to share a language to share a love of the beauty of our world¬†that is far beyond our ability to create.

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  1. Bill on July 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I loved the pictures. I could never get enough potsherds. Who dated them for you?

    • Ruth Anne and Rick on July 2, 2016 at 11:05 am

      The archeologist who led the walk gave us her opinion as to what everything was and how old everything was.

  2. Pam Morgan on July 2, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Very impressive! Love the pictures also.

  3. Ruth Anne and Rick on July 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    You would have loved it! I thought about you when we were scouring the beach for treasures.

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