Monday, 23 September 2013

Another Mudlark and the Thames Festival

Unexpectedly both the youngest and husband were off on separate weekends away. Suddenly I was a free agent. Summer had closed and London was bathed in its familiar grey. Everyone was back in town the roads were crammed with traffic and tubes were chocca. But the city was weekend empty just the occasional group of blokes clad in orange day glo directing juggernauts to the latest corporate building site. 

I bounced down to the foreshore in my last time shiny new posh boots, which I'd finally got round to buying two years after I starting this mudlarking thing. They make life so much easier down there, wish I'd got some before. 

Met up with  LM and we quietly mudlarked away for the new few hours. 

Well chuffed with my first ever thimble find. I think it's mid 17th - late 18th century as it has a waffle pattern of indentations on the top.  The dipples are very regular so it must have been machine made. A good thimble identification site is here.

Mudlarking Find: Mid 17th - 18th Century Thimble

Not sure what this is, it's 7.5cm long and 3.5cm wide. Could be made of lead but not certain. If it was a medieval fish weight I'd be very pleased, but it doesn't quite match the pictures I've found of these, another find to take to  the Finds Officer at the Museum of London. 

Metal Mudlarking Find. 
Medieval Fish Weights (time line auctions)

and I also rather like this top of a clay stopper, probably because I've found nothing similar before. 
Mudlarking Find: Clay stopper
Plus in 10 minutes picked up one or two pipe stems for my mosaic. 

Mudlarking Finds: Clay Pipe Stems & a few pipe bowls.
As we sat in the pub later we sifted and cooed through our finds, both our partners are rather bewildered by our continued fascination with the same old things we keep finding, so it's nice to find another soul who can find endless pleasure in revisiting their finds. 

I was free to spend the evening mooching around the Thames festival. I'm so disappointed they no longer run  banqueting tables down the middle of Southwark bridge, it was so brilliant to feast together with loads of other people, a very unLondon like social event - I blame it all on that man Boris. I wanted to seek out a couple of Thames films, managed to track down 'Portrait of a River' but whilst interesting it didn't match up to the films I'd seen at the Estuary Exhibition. Then ambled back towards Tower bridge to see 1513 A Ship's Opera, billed as 'a moving, operatic concerto of ships’ steam whistles, bells, horns, hooters, sirens and cannon as the centrepiece of the 2013 Thames Festival' I was intrigued. It wasn't quite as spectacular as I'd imagined it might be, but interesting none the less although mainly just a lot of hooting and tooting. Rather gorgeous though to see Tower Bridge opening and lit up and the Tower of London pooled with light. I took a very unprofessional little film on my phone, mainly to show my family, but thought I'd also bung it here. 

Ended up waiting for my bus at London bridge station which has been transformed from the Victorian dive into modernity with the Shard rising up from the bus station forecourt. Mad. 


  1. fun finds, and great new boots! so curious what you will do with your pipe stems - you're saying a mosaic?

    1. all will be revealed albeit slowly in future posts! Julia

  2. Love your post and finds. Where did you find all of those wonderful pipe stems?

  3. You can find pipe stems in most places along the Thames foreshore, these ones were fairly near Millennium bridge. Julia

  4. Hello Julia,
    I went to see the hooting tooting thingy, I was at home and wondered what the racket was, so had to go and find out.
    I was pleased to hear your evening foray was a success, if you hadn't found anything you would have been cursing me, but with all those pipes you can see why I like the low late tides.
    Regards Richard

  5. Yes Richard, thank you for your tip, we just wouldn't have thought of it otherwise. Julia