Thank Yous and Useful Contacts

The idea for this online exhibition dates to October 2017, when the late Jeremy Sims, a former Thames Water employee, volunteered at the Berkshire Record Office and began listing the hundreds of plans that had been created by the surveyors and engineers of the Thames Conservancy.  A lot of these plans were covered in dirt, and three more volunteers – Tony Place, Ray Sewart and Frank Quick ā€“ joined us to help list and clean them.  

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.
Volunteer, Frank Quick, cleaning plans 

Their work meant that, for the first time, cataloguing the vast collection of Thames Conservancy records became a real possibility. We were able to produce an application to Archives Revealed, a funding stream supported by The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust, that met their grant ceiling.  Our bid was successful and, in December 2019, we employed archivist Michaela Garland to catalogue the collection. 

This exhibition shares some of that collection alongside related items from other collections that we hold.   For the exhibition, thanks are due to: 

  • Thames Water, for funding this website, and especially to Rosemary Waugh and Dr Victoria Reeve 
  • The Environment Agency, and especially to Joe Cuthbertson and Dan Taylor 
  • The Thames Path National Trail 
  • Reading Libraries 
  • Reading Museum 
  • Pangbourne Heritage Group 
  • Tom Christie (for his exhaustive knowledge about the Thames Conservancy) 
  • Work experience student Abby McCormac (for finding images of the Thames in our collection) 
  • And our staff ā€“ Michaela Garland, Imogen Burrell, Laura-Ioana Luca, Hannah Pomeroy, Ellie Thorne, Rosemary Everritt, Lucie Lang, Sue Hourigan, Nick Martin and Ivone Turnbull

We hope that you have enjoyed this exhibition. If you would like to find out more about our collections please visit our website www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk. If you have any queries, would like to make a comment about the exhibition or share your experiences of the Thames please contact us on archives@reading.gov.uk or through our social media feeds:

Logo: a blue circle with 'Thames Water' at the top and water symbol at the bottom.
Logo: Blue rectangle with 'BRO', 'The Berkshire Record Office', and 'The Archives of the Royal County' across it in white font.
Logo: Green circular symbol showing a white stick figure with arms up and leaves above it to signify a tree. 'Environment Agency' is in green font next to it.
Logo: 'Thames Path' and 'National Trail' in black capitalised font with a black acorn symbol on the right.

Images used on homepage:
Introduction – D/TC/Z1
Before the Conservancy – D/EZ132/1 
The Thames Highway – William Havell print (reproduced with permission of Reading Museum)
Keeping the river clean – Punch, 1858
Floods and flooding – Postcard/Caversham10
At your leisure – WI/D194/1
Danger: deep water – D/EX177/12/2/7
The Thames in Wartime – D/EGL/O166/6
Thames people – D/TC/D1/2
After the Conservancy – photo by Thames Path National Trail
Timeline – D/EX73/3/28/58
Thank yous and useful contacts – photo by Rosemary Everritt
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