Eel Pie Island

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Eel Pie Island
Administration
Borough:Richmond
County:Greater London
Region:Greater London
Nation:England
Other
Ceremonial County:Greater London
Traditional County:Middlesex
Postal County:Middlesex

Eel Pie Island, in the River Thames at Twickenham in London, England, can only be reached by a footbridge or boat. Eel Pie Island was earlier called Twickenham Ait and before that The Parish Ait, even earlier the island was three separate aits.

In 1889 it was proposed to build a bridge to the island but that didn't happen until 1957.

Today, it has about 50 houses with 120 inhabitants with some small businesses and a nature reserve at each end. It is also home to Twickenham Rowing Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs on the Thames, and Richmond Yacht Club.

The island was the site of the now legendary The Eel Pie Hotel which was a genteel 19th century building hosting ballroom dancing during the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1950s it became a venue for Jazz and then in the 1960s the new sound of Rock and R&B.

Many famous names performed here between 1962 and 1967:-

In 1967, Eel Pie Island Hotel was forced to close because the owner could not meet the 200,000 cost of repairs demanded by the police. Squatters soon moved in. In 1969, the Club briefly reopened as Colonel Barefoot's Rock Garden, with progressive bands like Black Sabbath and The Edgar Broughton Band.

The Eel Pie Studios were owned by Pete Townshend and were the location of several significant pop and rock recordings.

In 1971, the Eel Pie Island Hotel burnt down in a mysterious fire. The centre of the island was devastated by fire in 1996 and a year later, the footbridge collapsed, a new one being opened in August 1998.

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