Issue date: 1st June 2012
As part of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a flotilla of 1000 vessels, the largest of its kind ever to assemble on the river in London, will make its way downstream on Sunday afternoon from Hammersmith Bridge to downriver of Tower Bridge on Sunday 3rd June. To ease manoeuvres the Thames Barrier will be raised to limit the outflow to a 1 mph maximum flow in an unprecedented trial.
The event will feature on a special 4 1/2 hour programme on BBC1.
In the weeks leading up to the event, participating flotilla boats have been making their way towards London to take part in rehearsal exercises and to assemble in readiness for the pageant. The inland waterways network has seen boats coming via the canals and rivers to reach London to take part in the event that was greatly oversubscribed by willing applicants from around the country.
In the days leading up to 3rd June, the Environment agency locks on the non-tidal Thames will be fully staffed to let the maximum number of boats pass through them. However, there will be the possibility of queues at some locks, especially at those nearest to Teddington – the gateway to the tidal Thames.
Please also be aware that the Port of London Authority – the navigation authority for the tidal Thames – have issued a Notice to Mariners advising that they will implement a staggered river closures during 3rd June.
The Recreational Squadron includes 40 narrow boats and 20 barges. Amongst the narrow boats will be many skippered by IWA members including our National Chairman Clive Henderson on nb Nanshe and David Powell on the steam powered President, Pat Barton on nb Quercus, Kathryn Dodington on nb Leo No 2, Rodney Wardlaw on nb Hazell Nut, Paul Ayres on nb Bream, Simon Judge on nb Scholar Gypsy, Nicholas Grundy, son of the late IWA Vice President Martin Grundy, on their family boat of many years nb Beatty, Colin Parfitt on nb Dragonfly, Christine Kemp on nb Ketura, South Wales Branch Chair Margaret Gwalter and husband John on nb Ernest as well as a host of well known members on the ex-working boat Fulbourne. Julian Garratt will be on his steam launch Ursula in the Historic Section.
Before the event the Recreational Squadron will be gathered in West India Dock near Canary Wharf over the weekend busily polishing their boats and brass and decorating them with bunting to make the most of the spectacle..
For more information, please go to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website or the Port of London Authority website.
See photos by Tim Lewis of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant rehearsal on 26th May.
Explore the Pageant on the BBC website.