Yesterday, unsure if I would be able to make it today anyway, I went down to the Thames foreshore at low tide to see if I could find anything to contribute to their search. I used the watermans stairs at Surrey Docks Farm, walking as far as the Hilton and back. I was in hiking boots, not wellies, so I didn't venture out very far into the mud, which can ooze well over ankle level. Somehow I still ended up looking as though I was wearing asymmetrical blue warpaint when I arrived home.
I wanted to have a closer poke at a long cylinder that I had noticed last time (photo above), to see if it had any markings, but although I cleaned it off there was nothing to be seen. It weighs an absolute ton. The cylinder itself is undamaged and may have its original contents in tact. On closer inspection it has connections at both rounded ends, so it may have had taps and hoses. It continues to intrigue.
|Brick from Marston Vale works, Bedfordshire|
|Thorn pipe with leaf motif on seams|
|Sherd of a large vessel, with glazed interior|
As I was returning to the steps back to the real world, one of the modern Mississippi-style stern-wheeled paddle steamers went downriver. I had no idea that there were any of these still carrying tourists on the Thames, although I've seen them moored at Tower Bridge. It looked distinctly odd passing Canary Wharf! The paddles are purely decorative, of course.
|Brick from Milton Hall brickworks, Essex|