Gloriana to Find Home in Kingston

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012

After last summer’s Battle of Orleans Gardens, it looks as if the royal row barge Gloriana will be going to Kingston. The site in question is Canbury Gardens. According to the Kingston Guardian, barge boss Lord Sterling has written to Kingston Council saying that the non-tidal location would be ‘an ideal home for Gloriana’. The intention, at least on Lord S’s part, is that the project can ‘meet a deadline of June 2016’. Kingston Council are supportive of the plan. It will be interesting to see more details on exactly what’s being proposed, who’s going to be paying for it and what the locals think.

As you probably know, Canbury Gardens already has a large boathouse and pub and so whatever gets built for Gloriana would be in good company. Good location? Bad location? Most would agree that it’s a better location than Orleans Gardens.

* Kingston Guardian link


Filed under Gloriana boathouse, Local Issues & News

13 responses to “Gloriana to Find Home in Kingston

  1. Amir Tahir

    This is a very different situation from the Orleans one. The site there was a tranquil, beautiful, almost rural one and unique. I was vociferous in objecting to that proposal.
    The site proposed in Kingston appears to be the old barge dock and is not actually in Canbury Gardens but just outside it on the Kingston side. The owner of the site is said to be the company responsible for the hideous high-density multi-storey flats nearby which form part of Kingston’s Benidormification project, an attempt to emulate the understated elegance of the Brentford riverside as viewed from Kew Bridge.
    The scope for further official vandalism in the immediate area of the Kingston site is very limited by now (though the local ad hoc vandals are an enterprising and innovative bunch) and, as long as it doesn’t encroach on the park, there seems little harm in having the blingy thing in the place suggested. Compared with the ruination of the approaches to the river caused by the John Lewis lump and its neighbours and the proposed skyscrapers on the old post office site, this is relatively trivial stuff.
    Having said all that, though, Kingston residents shouldn’t expect to have to pay a penny towards the thing. There’s quite enough ill-earned cash floating around in the (offshore) bank accounts of the local developers (and, no doubt, some of their ‘friends’ on Kingston Council) to pay for any vanity projects claimed to be ‘good for the town and good for local business’.

  2. Purple Haze

    It sounds like Lord Sterling and his pals are desperate to get some return on their £500,000 investment, which we all know was just a self-aggrandizing vanity project.
    Now they are stuck with something most people aren’t remotely interested in, trying to peddle it as a ‘heritage tourist attraction’, wanting the taxpayer to help pay for somewhere to house it.
    The Heritage Lottery Fund wouldn’t cough up a £1million to match the £1million LBRUT were going to spend as part of the £3million development scheme for Twickenham. And most of the towns’ residents could see through all the hyperbole and grandiose waffle as well. They didn’t feel guilty about being bullied into accepting this ‘crystal palace for a fairy craft’, as Lord True put it.
    In these days of cut-backs in public funding it’s a gross insult to taxpayers who would prefer this money to be spent on more useful schemes that would benefit everyone, not just the select few.
    As for arguing it would be a big tourist attraction this is unmitigated rubbish, as few of the general public bothered to go and see the boat when it was moored in St Katherine’s dock or on the Lea Navigation. Ok it has some value in river ceremonies and allowing rowers and schoolchildren use it, but this this is a thing of very limited appeal.
    Kingston Conservative leader, Kevin Davis, who owns a firm that lobbies politicians on behalf of property developers, will have another fight on his hands.
    The people I feel sorry for are the folk that built it as they have seen their craft being used as a political football.

  3. Walkinthepark

    Andree, well you have my support too, not a resident , but it’s another park I walk and I don’t want to see any of our riversides dug up for big barns to house big new boats however gilded. It is like Marble Hill a park that could do with a bit of investment to tidy it up but not this. Yes, it has a boathouse but it is a working boathouse for Kingston Rowing Club. It would require the same big trench and designer hen hutch on green riverside public space.

    Why do they persist with this vanity project for the influential when any other similar boat is docked in summer and dry docked commercially in winter? It seemed as though that was what Kingston and Brentford were offering? As a tourist attraction it is impossible to imagine a viable business plan even if it is in a nice riverside spot. Maybe tourists would walk a few yards to see it moored besides Hampton Court, but queue for the Kingston Car Parks and then walk along?????

    Though reading the comments about Kingston’s leadership I am feeling possibly inexplicably a bit warm and fuzzy towards Lord True with his slightly comical misjudgement, sycophancy and oratory, at least that, probably, is all it is.

    So just to prove I am not a NIMBY, if possibly a NIMNBY…….

    • Alexis

      I think that Witp has been overtaken by events/missed the boat – tant pis!
      I’m sure that Twickerati will open a new topic about today’s announcement of the merger of Richmond and Wandsworth Council services.

      Apart from Witp, the news seems to have wrong footed LibDem leader Stephen Knight and his hot-shot cyber warrior Councillor Gareth Roberts. Have a look at the R&TT
      What fun!

    • Walkinthepark

      What are you on about? I made a comment about the Gloriana and the proposal to put it in Canbury , because I care about our environment. The alliance with Wandsworth and politics generally are irrelevant, shame the politicians don’t realise that.

    • Alexis

      Quite right Ms Witp, I was out of order.
      Well sort of – until I read her last but one para which was typically disparaging about the leader of our Council and read thus:
      “Though reading the comments about Kingston’s leadership I am feeling possibly inexplicably a bit warm and fuzzy towards Lord True with his slightly comical misjudgement, sycophancy and oratory, at least that, probably, is all it is.”

      I don’t know where Witp lives but wonder whether she has discussed her objection with Kingston Rowing Club?
      Have a look at their website – Gloriana dominates the photos. Ages ago I suggested locating its boathouse adjacent to a local rowing club but was bludgeoned into submission by ex- LibDem webmaster Chris Squire. I used to row at Molesey BC when we welcomed school crews, several of whom went on to become Olympians and GB squad members – so, what’s so wrong with raising the profile of KRC which has always been excellent?

      Since Witp was banging on about Gloriana being located in Kingston, I thought that she had missed the boat which gave me an excellent opportunity to draw other reader’s attention to the breaking news about shared council services with Wandsworth which was far more interesting and relevant to us. I’m pleased to see that its now a topic for debate and to note that LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts and his chums are rattled – jolly good!

    • Walkinthepark

      Perfectly possible to play the man, not the game. I even threw a vote his way at the last election but that was because I didn’t think he could possibly come up with another misjudged vanity project that adversely affected our community. How wrong I was, a big gilded one was already floating our way……. a crystal palace for a fairy craft even. Kingston has at least been spared that level of hyperbole.

      But the game, the name calling, tribalism etc. that I find intensely boring.

    • Alexis

      Yes Ms Witp, it is indeed possible to play the man rather than the game, however I always thought the former was a bit infra dig, but then, I’m probably a bit old fashioned, so, just for once I will play the woman rather than the game – a bit like Ms Witp.

      I didn’t like it when Dr Burningham and “Sally” turned the campaign to stop the Gloriana boathouse in Orleans Gardens into a personal attack on Lord True and the hapless local Tory Councillors. That was gratuitously unfair since they had obviously been hung out to dry by their leadership and left to try to defend the indefensible just like LibDem C’llrs Carr, Trigg and the near invisible Wilson over Lourie’s failed attempt to flog off Twickenham Riverside to a property developer.
      When I dared to challenge Dr B and Sally on this site, I was promptly pounced on, villified as a Tory stooge and accused of backing the project which I wasn’t and didn’t, I only objected to the personalisation of the campaign which had became quite unpleasant. Nevertheless they won.

      I notice that, in the past, Witp adopted a similar approach in her posts about the proposed schools in Clifden Road and the office block on Heath Road. I do hope that this lady hasn’t become a serial campaigner or will moderate her tactic of playing the man – or woman. Otherwise life could become seriously tedious for many of us.

      Good luck to Kingston and KRC, I don’t see much opposition to this plan yet apart from a bit from the local Green party PPC Andree Frieze. Good luck to her as well – I think she will need it!
      Purple Haze seems to know how to play the game – perhaps from an inside left position?

  4. twickerman

    With no funding and a lack of local support…it looks like third time lucky for Gloriana’s big boathouse.
    Let’s see what Brentford can offer?

  5. Boss

    It’s a better site, but still seems to involve digging up a lot of park area. And it’s only accessible by walking a fairly long way along the towpath. So still a pretty crap proposal.

  6. Purple Haze

    Yes, most of the comments seem to mirror those made by folk in Twickenham.
    This boat is like the cursed Flying Dutchman. -The legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.
    Ooh arr!

  7. Andree Frieze

    If you read the comments online for Surrey Comet you’ll see most residents are against it, as am I.

    • Sally

      But, but, the Mayor say that it will be a terrific idea and universally popular in Kingston!
      Good luck. Much of what has been put out in favour of the project I have seen via the Surrey Comet could have been cut and pasted from the flyers etc put out to sell this idea downstream here. Stand by to be told that you only object to the idea because you all don’t understand how good it will be for Kingston and so on.
      The boat is becoming rather comical. Nobody wants to pay to house the thing-not the Queen not the people of Richmond, and now it seems not many of the people of Kingston. There’s an Ealing comedy in this…