This is film is the first in the ‘Londoners of the Thames’ – 1000 Londoners Totally Thames 2015 series.
David Watkins is the Captain of the only free ferry service in London; the Woolwich Ferry. Despite making the same short journey, from the north to the south of the river Thames and back again, he never gets bored as “no two journeys are the same”. The camaraderie between his crew always provides entertainment, but also the tide, the cars, the people all differ on each journey, and from his viewpoint he gets to see everything. David is from a family of people who have worked on the Thames and although his Father’s suffered a severe accident it hasn’t put him or his son off continuing to work on the river.
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Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? Going to London. Feeding pidgeons at Trafalgar Square. Bird seed sellers.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? The hustle and bustle. I meet people from all over the world. I also work around the world. People's person. I miss the river.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? Brixton. My daughter moved there. My first impression was riots. I love it now. It's thriving. Royal borough of Greenwich I should say.
- What's your favourite building? Tower Bridge - I never tire of it. It says 'Welcome to London'. The Trinity Hospital in Greenwich - an arms house for men only. It's beautiful, especially from the river.
- What's your ideal day out in London? The touristy spots. Going to the museums. Tower of London - love the history.
- What's your ideal night out in London? Just a good meal. Few pints. Probably the theatre.
- What's your most hated building? The National Theatre - looks like a concrete car park. It's looks like a nuclear power station instead of our home theatre.
- What's the best view in London? Top of the London Eye.
- What's your favourite open space? Greenwich Park - The Royal Observatory. Beautiful views.
- What's the most interesting shop? Record shop in Greenwich that still sells vinyls.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? Some of the pubs on River Thames. The Prospect of Witby, oldest pub on the Thames. Love sitting on the balcony.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? 45th birthday. Children took me to see the Blue Man Group. Surpise trip. It was unbelievable.
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Playing golf with colleagues/friends. Few beers. Nice meal with friends and family.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? I take them on the river. You get to see everything from there. Royal borough of Greenwich.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Travelling from Kent to Brixton in the rush hour is horrendous.
- What's your personal London landmark? Warbrook Dock - my father worked. He had an accident there. Every time I drive in, I think about him.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Sherlock Holmes.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie.
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? Back and try and catch Jack the Ripper. Back to the royal bakery to put that candle out.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? It's too diverse to have one person to capture London. Everyone plays a part.