Eel Pie Island's peculiar moniker is matched by its' colourful history. For a speck of land just 1/2 Kilometer in length and at its widest point, a mere 150 meters, it has achieved a remarkable world wide notoriety and played host to a diverse range of activities.
The first habitable island down stream from London, it has been linked to Twickenham's riverbank since 1957 by a slender footbridge.
Prior to this, boats were the only means of access, no doubt adding to the island's attractiveness to would be philanderers. Indeed it is reputed that the island's very respectable Twickenham Rowing Club was built,in 1860, as a front for an illicit love affair!
The real debauchery began, however, when the Eel Pie Hotel, an island fixture since 1830, became the venue for a club ran by social researcher Arther Chisnall. In 1956 Chisnall hosted the first of many parties featuring live music. The next 11 years saw the musical slant veer from Trad Jazz through Skiffle to R'nB and Rock. Many of the pretty young things who played their early gigs there are now firmly established at the top of the musical hierarchy- George Melly, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton....The musical connections have gone full circle with one of today's tipped-for-the-top acts, The Mystery Jets, hailing from the island.