‘Eel Pie Island’: A sliver of land that developed rock’n’roll heritage | The Independent

TW1 3DY is the postcode for an island 5 miles from the perimeter of Heathrow airport and just a mile from Twickenham Rugby Stadium.

Like these establishments, the isle was an vital element of the British identity. Have confidence in me. But first, love the just one-hour journey to this sliver of land in the center of the Thames, just downstream from Teddington Lock.

Bernardo O’Higgins shows the way. The Chilean innovative hero is commemorated with a handsome bust in Bridge House Gardens in Richmond – ideal beside the bridge.

O’Higgins expended his late teenagers in what is now a genteel southwest London suburb, and it was in Richmond that he grew to become a rebel with a induce: independence for his dwelling state, Chile.

Observe his gaze down to the waterside: your voyage throughout the Thames will appear later on. A kink in the river implies you are quickly on the north financial institution and heading southeast, when your focus on is really to the west. But a wonderful sweep of the Thames will ease you close to to the ideal route, curling clockwise beneath the handsome homes substantial on Richmond Hill.

Glover’s Island before long swings into look at, festooned with trees that surface to be hoisting on their own out of the river.

Ten minutes later, hold your eyes open for what my map grandly phone calls the Ham House Ferry Terminal, but which I connect with a short set of steps main down to the water.

“If waiting around on the Ham side, be individual and wave if needed,” advises the family members business that operates Hammerton’s Ferry, a two-moment trans-Thames experience that, for £1 transports you from the Surrey bank to the Middlesex facet – even though it feels surprisingly like France.

In the early 19th century, Twickenham was a well-liked vacation spot for French aristocrats in exile. The Duke of Orleans, afterwards to come to be the last king of France as Louis Philippe, moved into a Palladian villa that was unforgivably demolished in 1926. But the Octagonal Area was left intact, and this exquisite survivor has because turn into the Orleans House Gallery – brought to you absolutely free by the London Borough of Richmond, whose Town Hall is confusingly future doorway at York Property.

The good thing is the route is a lot easier to stick to than the string of names, and qualified prospects to a stately residence masquerading as a French chateau. Appropriately, it was the 19th-century household of Orleanist Pretenders to the situation of King of the French.

Experience playground: sea nymph statues in York Home Gardens(Simon Calder)

When an Indian merchant prince, Sir Ratan Tata, took possession in 1906 he included a delicious Italianate flourish in the gardens. A scattering of sea nymphs, sculpted from Carrara marble, frolic with winged horses: a suitable opening act for the excellent weirdness that occurred halfway throughout the Thames on Eel Pie Island.

“Trad jazz to major steel,” is how Michele Whitby sums up the 15 remarkable years in mid-Thames that started 1956. She is creator and curator of the Eel Pie Island Museum, situated on the mainland and anchored in the previous.

Just one probable resource of Eel Pie Island’s name is that Henry VIII paused below for a feed of the snake-like freshwater fish on the voyage concerning his palaces at Richmond. One more is that eel pies were being bought to the visitors for whom a boat trip to the island manufactured a grand day out.

A prim and suitable hotel was crafted in 1830 and prospered in the course of the Victorian age Charles Dickens was amongst the company.

By the 1950s, folks who fancied an island escape could head for the Mediterranean fairly than the center of the Thames.

Michael Snapper, an antique dealer and ice skater, bought the Eel Pie Island Lodge in 1952. He supposed to rework the assets into an ice rink and casino. But as an alternative it became a rock’n’roll legend.

Four years later on, Arthur Chisnall started out up a jazz club in the ballroom. And the relaxation was rock historical past.

The first act was Ken Colyer’s jazz band, but by June 1963 Eel Pie Island was internet hosting the Rolling Stones – each Wednesday evening for 3 months. They gained £45 at first, but as their superstar increased so did their price – to £55.

In 1964, a musician named Davy Jones, who was not previous plenty of to drink, joined the Manish Boys on phase. He later on grew to become identified as David Bowie.

Jimmy Site, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton were among a lot of other songs luminaries. Any one substantial in the British blues explosion played Eel Pie Island, and when rock was youthful Elton John (then Reg Dwight) was regularly in the audience.

By the time The Who previewed their rock opera Tommy in 1968, the unique jazz club experienced shut and Colonel Barefoot’s Rock Backyard experienced planted itself in the hotel. With the clientele becoming ever more unique, the local police took an unhelpful curiosity in the goings-on on Eel Pie Island.

As the Sixties disintegrated, so did the material of the lodge and the musical qualifications. It became a commune, which just one occupant explained as overrun by an interesting cross-portion of modern society: “Dossers, hippies, runaway college youngsters, drug dealers, petty intruders, heroin addicts, artists, poets, bikers, American hippie visitors, au pair ladies and Zen philosophers from all about the earth.”

Doing the job launch: a Dutch barge in a boat shed on Eel Pie Island(Simon Calder)

The lodge burnt down in 1971, leaving the rebels without a commune. In the previous 50 %-century, Eel Pie Island has prospered: boatyard firms and artists’ studios coexist with 150 people who enjoy lifetime on a hideaway just 50 percent-an-hour by coach from central London. But a specific radical spirit lingers, claims Celia Holman, who lives on the island and volunteers at the museum

“There’s a great deal of that environment from the Sixties that continue to continues to be on Eel Pie Island,” she claims.

“The component of creativeness is extremely much here.”

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The Coig: What to see on Scotland’s five new road excursion routes | The Impartial


ow that lockdown has lifted, Scotland is completely ready and waiting with five new tourism routes for your self-driving, climbing or biking satisfaction.

Targeted primarily on the Clyde Coastline and islands in the western portion of Scotland, The Coig (which is Gaelic for 5) is the great sustainable staycation when you are completely ready to break absolutely free.

Below are the highlights of every.

The Independent’s resort testimonials are impartial, independent assistance you can have faith in. On some situations, we receive profits if you click on the inbound links and guide, but we hardly ever let this to have an effect on our coverage.

The Shire

Sunset at Ayr Beach front(Karyn Noble)

This 138-mile loop will take in the very best of Ayrshire in around 5 hrs by motor vehicle. Beginning in Irvine (pronounced “Ur-vin”), the Coig’s route skims down the coastline by using the seaside city of Ayr right before heading inland by means of New Cumnock, then back again up to the village of Kilmaurs. This is Robert Burns’ land as very well as dwelling to the historic legacy of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce: a should for lovers of history and tradition.

For foodstuff, The Waterfront not only has an enviable out of doors terrace together with the River Ayr, it’s also the position for selfmade scones. GRO in Irvine will satisfy all your coffee and organic brunch requirements.

If you are a admirer of solitary malts, head straight to impartial whisky company A.D. Rattray in Kirkoswald for the Whisky Tasting Practical experience.


The Shiel

Ice cream at Geraldo’s is a ought to(Karyn Noble)

This 55-mile loop incorporates the West Coast’s quaint seaside cities in all-around a person hour 30 minutes by automobile. It centres all around North Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire, as well as Scotland’s greatest regional park: Clyde Murshiel. These are wild and intimate landscapes, with plenty of off-road biking, heritage trails for walkers, castles to location and rather promenades to stroll down.

Meals-smart it’s all about the ice cream in Largs: Geraldo’s has queues in summer season for its handmade, additional creamy, generous scoops. You could also deal with yourself to Braidwoods in rural Dalry: Scotland’s longest-managing (and Ayrshire’s only) Michelin-starred cafe.

If you really do not have a car or truck or want some expert direction, enlist the enable of Primal Adventures they present 4×4 adventures around The Coig, these kinds of as a 10-end itinerary of The Shiel, taking in Blair Estate Kilwinning Abbey Ardrossan Castle Saltcoats Seashore Portencross Kelburn Castle the Viking Monument, Yacht Haven and Viewpoint of Largs, as well as community restaurant stops.


The Waterside Hotel in West Kilbride has a choice of 23 rooms, most giving sights straight throughout the Clyde to the Isle of Arran. The Woodhouse Lodge in Largs is handy for the island ferries to Cumbrae and has nine cosy rooms (opt for the four-poster mattress, with private balcony and sea sights).

The Arran

Arran from a length(Karyn Noble)

Circumnavigating the most significant of the islands in the Firth of Clyde delivers a lot spectacular surroundings, backdropped by Goatfell, Arran’s optimum mountain (874m), which is well-known with hikers. By automobile, the encouraged Coig route is a 70-mile loop (using just beneath 3 several hours) from the principal village of Brodick (exactly where you are going to alight from the automobile ferry) by means of castle ruins and wonderful bays to the curved beach front of Sannox.

Head to the Pierhead Tavern at Lamlash for usual pub food items (as perfectly as a haggis and black pudding tower with peppercorn sauce) and are living new music on the terrace with sights throughout the bay to the Holy Isle. The Parlour in Brodick is your go-to for award-successful Arran Ice Cream, the place, as effectively as the classics, you can try out this kind of quintessential flavours as Scottish Pill and Cranachan.

There are two distilleries on Arran Lochranza has been likely strong because 1995, and newcomer Lagg opened in 2019 but you require to find out the not too long ago opened Isle of Arran Gin beach front dwelling in Cladach for tastings and dinosaurs.


Auchrannie Vacation resort is a little bit like its very own world in Arran: two independent resorts giving a whole of 85 rooms, and 30 self-catering lodges dotted across 52 acres of gardens in Brodick. It’s family and pet-friendly much too. If you want extra alone time, in addition to B&Bs, there are a good deal of companies offering self-catering qualities around the island: Cottages on Arran, Mill Rink Arran, The Arran Group and Arran Vacation Retreats.

The Bute

The bay on the Isle of Bute(istock)

Pronounced “beaut”, which is an apt descriptor, the isle of Bute takes about an hour to circle by auto (22 miles) adhering to the Coig route, but you will want to linger above its charm, specifically the preservation of its 19th-century architecture and the Victorian promenade in the principal city of Rothesay (pronounced “Rossy”). Walkers will also rejoice in the 45km West Island Way: Scotland’s 1st lengthy-distance footpath.

You should not overlook Mount Stuart the 19th-century Gothic mansion set amid 300 acres of landscaped gardens actually is better than Downton Abbey. To even more greatly enhance your take a look at, acquire a guided tour to find out the remarkable historical past of its architecture and design and style.

Head to Ritchie’s of Rothesay for something regional to try to eat. It dubs itself as household to the very best smoked fish in all of Scotland and it’s not significantly completely wrong. It is takeaway-only but you can manner a fine picnic of fish, cheeses, smoked haddock eggs and other pantry staples. The Kingarth Lodge has extremely generously portioned pub foods to love with views of Kilchattan Bay.


The Cumbrae

See Cumbrae by bike(Karyn Noble)

The smallest of The Coig route solutions (just 4 miles very long and two miles large), the largely flat Isle of Cumbrae is perfect for cyclists who extravagant a tranquil 10km 90-minute loop of the island, or family members keen for a relaxed beachside holiday with the likelihood to spot seal colonies and porpoises, among other wildlife.

Hire a bike from Mapes of Millport, even if you’re not a pure bicycle owner it has above 400 bikes out there, which include e-bikes, and it’s the greatest way to take a look at the island.

Supporters of black pudding, home made bread and artisan chocolate ought to head straight for Brewbaker Cafe on the most important promenade of Millport, open considering the fact that 2019. The Garrison Home Café is also a reputable selection set within the stately impressiveness of Garrison Home, crafted in 1745.


Vacation Essentials

Acquiring there

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Zante ‘virus flight’ reveals shortcomings in tracking arriving travellers | The Independent

A senior public health figure has made extraordinary revelations about the system for tracking and tracing travellers arriving in the UK.

Everyone arriving in the UK is required to complete a “passenger locator form” (PLF) providing all their contact details – as well as the flight number and arrival time.

Dr Gwen Lowe, consultant in communicable disease control with Public Health Wales, told the BBC Today programme that some of the travellers will not be contacted until a week after the flight.

She said: “We have around 16 cases that are linked to people who took that flight back from Zante.

“Of those 16 cases, we know that seven of them were infectious, or potentially infectious, whilst actually on the flight.

“Those seven people come from three separate groups of individuals who travelled separately, had separate travel arrangements, but caught that flight together.

“As soon as we are aware that we have cases in clusters, we contact the other people who travelled back and we advise them that they are now contacts and they now need to isolate for up to 14 days.

“We need to reach all 193. We’re in the process of doing that now.

“One of the reasons we announced this publicly was to try and get the people quickly.

“We have booking details, we have passenger locator forms, we’re working our way through these forms now and putting them into ‘track, trace and protect’.

“They will all get a call from ‘track, trace and protect’ in the next 24 hours or so. The problem is that people don’t always have their phones on, it’s bank holiday Monday, they may not be available.”

The PLF was launched when the UK government introduced the blanket quarantine scheme in June. Even though passengers arriving from countries including Greece have been made exempt from the need to self-isolate, all travellers must complete the form. A penalty of £100 applies for non-compliance.

The information is passed to public health authorities in the four UK nations.

A campaigner for testing on arrival in the UK, Paul Charles, said: “If speedy UK airport arrival testing was in place, combined with a second test five days later, then I’m sure health authorities would have picked up the majority, if not all cases promptly.

“Instead those positive have been mixing in their communities for several days.

“This Tui flight is absolute proof of why the government should implement airport testing now, as over 30 other countries have already done.”

“The current system is the tortoise. But you can have the hare with airport arrival testing. And speed is the essence when it comes to coronavirus.”

The Independent is seeking clarification from Public Health Wales about when the infections became known.

Tui, the airline which operated the flight, has been criticised for failing to enforce the rule on wearing face coverings.

One passenger, Stephanie Whitfield, told Today: “Many passengers didn’t seem to know how to wear the masks correctly or they seemed to disregard the rules.

“Lots of people were wearing the masks underneath their noses or underneath their chins. They were taking their masks off to talk to friends, and going up and down the aisle to talk to their friends without their masks on.

“The crew came round once to ask one lady to put her mask on.”

The Boeing 737 had only two empty seats during the flight, which lasted three hours 42 minutes.

Personal data: each passenger is required to provide information for the locator form(Department for Transport)

A spokesperson for Tui said: “The health and safety of passengers is always our priority and we are concerned to hear of Mrs Whitfield’s claims.

“Our crew are trained to the highest standards and in line with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines. Passengers are informed prior to travel and via PA announcements on the flight that they have to wear masks throughout and are not allowed to move around the cabin.

“Masks can only be removed when consuming food and drink. A full investigation is now under way as these concerns weren’t reported during the flight or before today.”

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