Battersea Beach, Thames Riverside Walk, Hester Road
The Museum of First Art exhibits work by young London artists up to the age of 18. This began as an educational Focus event of The London String of Pearls Jubilee Festival in two parts, entitled Archetypes and Local Heroes, by the Couper Collection and the National Portrait Gallery â€” funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, London Arts and the Corporation of London. The Couper Collection project initially involved 5 schools of the London Boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Wandsworth and Southwark, and a total of 111 children. The Couper Collection Public Trust was co-founded with Wandsworth Council in 1998. The Council financed health and safety works and general promotion, that enabled the collection to permanently open as a London tourist destination, and school's education facility. In 1999 the trust was launched as registered charity by the UK Home Secretary. The registered charitable objectives of the Couper Collection Public Trust are: To advance public education and access to the Thames, through the preservation and showing of the collection, and events associated with the art, on the trust's permanent moorings and historic barges. Thames Heritage The Couper Collection is London's last remaining fleet of historic Thames barges on their ancient moorings, now owned by the trust, and continuously used since the 18th century. The barges, converted over the last 20 years, include a variety of types dating from 1908 to 1974, and the last two barges built on the Thames - a pair of 1000 ton wheat barges. Couper Collection Barges, 2001, photographed by Anne Soenens from Albert Bridge, at low tide, looking west to Battersea Bridge. London's barges, also known as lighters, were originally responsible for the prosperity of the city. They were finally made redundant by the advent of containerisation in the 1980's, when thousands of barges, and dozens of similar barge-moorings, disappeared for ever from the Thames in central London.