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Where Smooth Waters Glide

An exhibition marking 250 years of caring for the River Thames

7 May 2021-31 Dec 2021

The Berkshire Record Office holds the archive of the Thames Conservancy (the historical body responsible for the management of the river before the Environment Agency and Thames Water), which forms a unique and unbroken record of the river’s management over 200 years. In 2019, the BRO received an award to catalogue the records, as part of the ‘Archives Revealed’ programme, which is supported by The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust.

The Thames Conservancy ran the River Thames from its source until its tidal reach at Teddington. It built the locks, weirs and towpaths and was responsible for prosecuting people who polluted the water, for preventing flooding and for draining land around the river for agricultural or residential use, functions now covered by the Environment Agency and Thames Water.

We have created this online exhibition to celebrate the 250th anniversary of when the Thames Navigation Commission (later Thames Conservancy) first met on 9 May 1771.

Why not take a look and see what you can discover?

View the exhibition via this link: