The winners have been announced but schools can still take part in our River Thames Quiz – just for fun!
A party of 90 lucky pupils from three London schools will be coming with us on a trip on a privately chartered Thames Clipper on 10th July. The trip has been sponsored by Tideway, the designers and builders of the new “super sewer” being constructed under the Thames.
2. The Great Stink or Big Stink. The smell was really bad and as the Victorians believed diseases were spread by bad smells (called miasma) they were very concerned about breathing it in.
3. The Chinese Mitten Crab. Chinese Mitten Crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) are listed as one of the worlds 100 worst invasive species due to the damage they can cause to fishing gear, river banks, native species and habitat.
4. Londinium – although some would argue that Highrentarea would be more appropriate!
5. A source of drinking water. There are 3 superb resources from Thames Water here which show the water cycle, sewage treatment and water treatment. No hydroelectricity but interesting to know that in 1581 a waterwheel was installed on London Bridge to pump water to some local residences.
6. The Thames – or aquifers (natural underground reservoirs) feeding the Thames. Tea is pretty popular though.
7. River taxis. River taxi rowers or ferrymen were a rough and ready lot – they had to be. Navigating under London Bridge was a dangerous business. The many arches supporting the bridge turned the outgoing and incoming tide into a series of deadly rapids. Many passengers preferred to get out and walk whilst the ferrymen rowed under the bridge (it was called “shooting the rapids”), and get back in again on the other side once it was safe!
8. True. These became know as frost fairs, although there weren’t as many as some people believe. At one fair an enterprising person brought on a printing press and printed cards to sell announcing you had visited the frost fair. Printing presses are pretty heavy so the ice must have been thick.
9. The Thames in London is brackish. The amount of salt in the tidal Thames varies as you can imagine – less salty towards the source and more salty towards the mouth. In times of heavy rain and during droughts the salt content also changes. Fish swim to different parts of the Thames depending on their preference for salty water.
10. Mud, although the tidal Thames can display a range of colours from a deep green to a leaden grey. Take a look and see what you think the next time you pass it.