Talk by the Thames - Barges and Bread by Di Murrell

Award-winning writer and waterways campaigner talks about her life on the river

Award-winning writer and waterways campaigner, Di Murrell
Di Murrell

Chiswick Events

Sign up for our weekly Chiswick newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Award-winning writer and waterways campaigner, Di Murrell, talks about her life on the river, and the history of how London relied on the Thames to supply the grain which fed its citizens, allowing the city to grow and flourish in a jointly badged talk by Chiswick Pier Trust and River Thames Society.

Winner of the 2012 Sophie Coe Prize for her essay, ‘Food on the Move', Di also writes for French travel magazines and  Petits Propos Culinaires . ‘Barges and Bread' was the 2018 UK winner of the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards.

Di Murrell has spent most of her adult life on UK waterways. With her husband, Tam, she worked a pair of canal boats, moving imported lime pulp to L.Rose's Wharf in Hemel Hempstead where it was used in the manufacture of marmalade and cordial. Later they worked the Upper Thames delivering coal to Thames Conservancy lock-keepers and on the Tideway carrying grain from Tilbury to Coxes Mill on the River Wey. They eventually operated three small coasters in and around the Thames Estuary and Netherlands.

Di has always been involved in the politics of inland waterways, campaigning against the loss of water transport. She was instrumental in the revival of upriver grain traffic and the carriage of general cargo to Kingston-upon-Thames. She and Tam fought the London Dock Labour Board for the right to carry freight on the river and later argued in the House of Lords against the loss of ancient rights. Di got to know many canal boatmen, bargemen, and lightermen and watched their way of life and skills disappear as more modern transport systems took over. 

Until recently she and Tam owned a 24metre motor barge and spent the last 20 years roaming the waterways of mainland Europe. Now she splits her time between Burgundy in France and London.

Tuesday, 30 October at Chiswick Pier Trust, The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, W4 2UG. £3 for non-members, FREE for members. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30 pm.

For further information on the Pier and how to get there, contact the Chiswick Pier Trust 020 8742 2713, or check their web site.

October 24, 2018

Bookmark and Share