Fog on Blackheath, fog by the Thames

The first thing I remember from yesterday is lying in bed, hearing a ship’s foghorn on the Thames. Usually you just get a blast or two, but this one kept on and on for half-an-hour. Yup, it was a right old gaw’blimey pea-souper out there.

There’s not many places which look as good when you can’t see them properly, I’d suggest. But the drifting fog made for an unusually eerie experience cycling across Blackheath, where the entire world seemed to vanish at one point, except for a group of lads playing football…

With the fog drifting eastwards, it was time to take in the famous view from Greenwich Park…

Riding down the hill, the drop in temperature was clear as more fog hung around the bottom of the park. Down by the old naval college, a small child shouted out: “I’m scared!” Can’t think why…

Along the riverside, where the fog was so thick, the Thames vanished at the Cutty Sark pub. Hardened drinkers stood in the beer garden peering out at nothing.

Further on, along the unlit Thames Path (more about which later), even the tops of switched-off lamp posts vanished into a gloom that was impossible to capture with a mobile phone. I turned off the path at the old Victoria Deep Water Terminal, concerned that the gloom would lead me into deep water.

The south side of the Dome was fairly clear, but upon returning to the riverside path, streaks of fog stretched out along the water. A minute or so later, the lights from the north side of the Thames vanished, as did the river itself.

The river was closed to traffic, leaving tennis fans lining up at the pier waiting for the fog to lift. A roar overhead confirmed some traffic was getting in and out of City Airport – just a little disconcerting.

Into Charlton, and the fog lifted a little. But the Thames Barrier was mostly closed, with just one floodlit lane available for shipping, highlighting the lingering mist.

If you’re disconcerted by this early taste of winter – remember one thing. We’re a week off the first anniversary of last winter’s big snowfall


  1. If you think the foggy start to the day we had this week was a pea souper,
    Darryl, old lad, you’ve clearly never been in a pea souper.

    In the killer smog of December 1952, when some 4,000 Londoners died of respiratory
    illnesses from breathing in the filth trapped in the freezing air and another 100,000
    fell ill, sometimes you could scarcely see a hand in front of your face – and that’s not
    just an expression, you really couldn’t.

    It was so bad that people got totally lost in the murk when they ventured just a few
    score yards from their homes.

  2. Great pictures, remind me of when I was a lot younger & lived in Erith, I would lie in bed snuggled up listening to the fog horns & count the blasts, feeling cosy & safe! them woz the days guv!

  3. Oh & how when its foggy I always want to see again the original film of the “Day of the Triffids” fantastic black & white film, both hubby & I mentioned hearing strange noises in the fog & avoiding bushes when we were out last night!

  4. I keep thinking about how I ought to comment – boring memories of what it was like when fog was fog and not a little light mist off the river. How the trains came up the line from Gravesend with flares replacing the signals, and how my boyfriend could only see to drive across Blackheath with the car door open so he could stay alongside the kerb, and 1000s died of smog related illnesses. Those were the days!!

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