Where Smooth Waters Glide

An exhibition marking 250 years of caring for the River Thames
Black and white circular logo with ‘Conservators of the River Thames’ around the outside edge. In the centre are two shields in front of a sceptre and an anchor with rope. The left shield has a single sword on it and a cross. The right shield has four boats and a cross on it. Above the shields, at the centre, is a crown. Below the shields is ‘MDCCCLVII’.

The Thames Conservancy archive and this exhibition

Colour plan showing the river Thames between Cookham and Taplow with a cluster of buildings in the top right representing Cookham and four individual buildings in bottom left, place and property names marked.

Why the upper Thames needed oversight

Coloured engraving of Marlow Weir with men carrying out improvements being made to the wier structure by workmen.

How the modern river was built

Keeping the River Clean
Black and white drawing of a large old, bearded man with a tin bucket hat representing ‘Father Thames’ leans his forearm on a water pipe with water flowing out, a smaller individual stood facing him holds a paint brush and has a bucket which reads: Lime beside. In the background is a clown like person with a top hat and exaggerated nose on a ladder is peering over the edge.

How pollution was controlled

Floods and Flooding
Black and white photograph of Caversham Bridge with people on, the water level is very high.

Ordinary and extraordinary events

At Your Leisure
Black and white photograph of the 150 yards race with four individuals posed ready to dive with a meet marshal behind them.

Recreation on the river

Danger: Deep Water
Black and white photograph of a crowd of men and women in Edwardian dress stood or sitting on the steps next to the riverside and small boats on the Thames.

Accidents, life-saving and death on the Thames

The Thames in Wartime
The symbol of the Upper Thames Patrol depicting two overlapping circular shields with crosses on the front in the foreground, one with a sword on it and the other with sailboats on it. In the background is an anchor, rope, a sceptre and a sword. Above the shields is a crown and below is ‘U.T.P’.

How the First and Second World Wars impacted the upper river

Thames People
A large group of smartly dressed men looking towards the camera and wearing suits and ties/bow ties. Most are seated at three long dining tables. Some men are stood behind the tables.

Some of the Conservancy characters who shaped the river

After the Conservancy
Group photograph of Thames Path volunteers and dog, standing, smiling and holding mugs by the River Thames.

The work of the Environment Agency and Thames Water today

Black and white photograph of two women in a small motor boat on the Thames wearing 1960s clothing. Boats and trees are in the background.

Key dates in the history of the River

Thank Yous and Contacts
A man in his 30s cleaning a construction plan on a large table using a small smoke sponge. A pile of sponges, a large brush and a box are on the table next to him.

Credits, thank yous, and useful contact details

About Us

The Berkshire Record Office holds the archives of the Royal County of Berkshire. 

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