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Searching for Sir Humphrey

Published 2008; 144 pp; softback, 230x252mm.
ISBN 978-0-9542096-8-1 £14.99

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Searching for Sir Humphrey
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Fishermen with pike
Fishermen with pike, Marlow
Alaska steam launch
Restored 1880 steam launch, Alaska, at Bourne End
Reed gatherers
Harvesting rush for seating, Radcot

Dray horses
Youngs Brewery dray delivery, Wandsworth, 1970

View of Thames from Richmond HillView of the Thames from Richmond Hill
Author rowing
Author rowing two brothers and a cousin, 1950

For this book on the Thames, photographer Chris Morris frequently refers to the culture, history and habits of the river. Running alongside is a narrative commentary in which a strand of memoir acts as a counterpoint, amplified by occasional use of archive photos. After efforts to find Sir Humphrey (the family boat acquired in 1947), its voyages and the author’s subsequent experiences blend with the stories of the river he encounters from the source to the sea. Unexpected connections – such as Windsor being best remembered as a venue to watch the Rolling Stones in 1963 – offer diversions during the river journeys.

From rush cutters and medieval stone bridges on the upper reaches, fishermen and restored steam launches on the middle river, through tourist London to the Barrier on the tideway, a wide selection of the river’s many aspects coalesce to produce a portrait which is true to today while still redolent of the traditions and culture of England’s greatest river.
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