Story Of St Katharine’s Talk and Book Launch

Posted on May 1, 2014 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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Lady Daphne 1 - CopyIt was a great success. Everyone enjoyed the Talk and lots of books

were sold. Luckily my voice lasted for the evening session. People

particularly appreciated the roomy comfort and being able to see down

below in this famous Thames Barge, The Lady Daphne.



The Story Of St Katharine’s, Book Launch

Posted on April 26, 2014 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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Front cover


VENUE: The Lady Daphne, Thames Barge.

 Date: 28th April 2014.

 Time: 5 p.m. to 7.15 p.m.

 The Lady Daphne is the ideal setting for this book launch- she is located in West Dock,

close to the entrance from Tower Bridge- there are steep steps leading down below.There

will be a cash bar and the Talk will be from 5.45 p.m. to 6.15 p.m. The book can be purchased for£9.9

9 and signed with personal message. For tickets (£5) and more information,

please use this link tEventbrite. 


The Story Of St Katharine’s

Posted on April 6, 2014 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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The book is now on sale at Nauticalia for £9.99.


Posted on March 26, 2014 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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Front cover

The book looks really good and is much better for the delay because I have been able to add important recent events and dock improvements..

Commemorating St Katharine’s Hospital and the Precinct Community

Posted on November 26, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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Today, St Katharine’s Day, we held a commemoration ceremony near the site of ‘Old Kate’, near Starbucks, in the central Basin at the Dock. The current Master of the Royal Order of St Katharine at Limehouse was the special guest, and he recalled the thousands of people who had to leave their homes in the Precinct, and the sadness of losing their wonderful place of worship when the ancient Hospital, protected by Queens down the centuries, was closed to make way for the Docks. Of course, we love and cherish the splendid Marina of today, but it is right to respect the richness of the area’s past history.

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St Katharine’s Day Commemoration

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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The Service at the Tower went extremely well yesterday. The Tower Chaplain, Rev Roger Hall was in excellent form, and devoted much of his sermon to commemorating the ancient Hospital and Church in St Katharine’s from 1147, inaugurated by Queen Matilda, right up to 1825, when it was razed to the ground to make way for the building of St Katharine Docks. The last sermon at St Katharine’s was held by the then Chaplain of the Tower, heavily criticising the closure decision, so it was very appropriate and moving to listen to today’s Chaplain all these years later.


Event To Commemorate St Katharine’s Day And The Royal Hospital Of Saint Katharine By The Tower

Posted on November 16, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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You may know that St Katharine was a mediaeval lady of noble birth in Alexandria, who was cruelly killed after refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She was broken on a wheel, as pictured, which lead to the firework of the same name. Her feast day is 25th November and the commemoration planned at the Tower Of London will be particularly significant because the then Chaplain of The Tower (himself strongly opposed to the closing of the Hospital and Church) gave a moving and powerful sermon at the Church’s final service in 1825, before it was razed to the ground to make way for St Katharine Docks. We cherish today’s splendid Marina, but will commemorate this historically important previous community, which was the ancient St Katharine’s Precinct, until 1825.


Pic by C Adach, sketch by Jane Young


The Origins of St. Katharine’s Hospital: St. Katharine’s Day, November 25th

Posted on November 12, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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The origin of the Hospital’s name ‘St Katharine’s’ is uncertain. The inspirational story of St Katharine of Alexandria became well known around England during the 11th century, so it may be that the suggestion came from Queen Matilda herself or from the Priory, which already administered St Katharine Coleman (in Magpie Alley, Fenchurch Street) and St Katharine Cree (Leadenhall Street). Her Saint’s Day is November 25th, though is not usually celebrated here in the UK. 

Photo C. Adach

Gloriana at St Katharine Docks

Posted on September 26, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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Gloriana will be docked here at St Katharine’s when not being used elsewhere. She is ideal to view here, as her magnificent workmanship can be observed at close quarters. The following is a quote from my upcoming book:
Gloriana: Her Majesty The Queen named the Royal Rowbarge Gloriana as a lasting legacy to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Her Majesty has asked that Gloriana be retained by Lord Sterling and the Maritime Heritage Trust with assistance from Thames Alive and has approved the principle that Gloriana will be used to promote better use of the Thames. This can be achieved through providing opportunities for Royal-supported, and other charities, to play their part in occasions and celebrations upon the Thames, with a particular emphasis on events involving young people.
 Logo by Jane Young and photo by Christopher Adach.

Celebrating St Katharine’s

Posted on September 25, 2013 by Chris West under Uncategorized
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The exhibition was very successful, with more than two thousand people passing through. Many people bought the new Map and Guide of St Katharine’s and a great deal of interest was shown for the book ‘Story Of St Katharine’s', which will hopefully be published by the end of November. More than anything else, people were fascinated to know about the ancient Royal Hospital of St Katharine, built in 1148 and eventually destroyed in 1825, to make way for the building of the Docks. These pictures show two sketches of the ancient Hospital and the site of the original building, now a Starbucks Coffee Shop:

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Sketches by Jane Young and photo by Christopher Adach