Category Archives: Diamond Jubilee River Pageant
The highlight of recent weeks has to be the Queen’s Diamond
Jubilee Pageant on the Thames, where a considerable number of Thames barges took part. They were in the Avenue of Sail between London Bridge and Wapping rather than in the Pageant itself because they are too tall to go under any of the bridges higher up.
It was an exciting time for those lucky enough to be on board the barges during the Pageant, or those who helped sail them up to the Pool of London.
I have to say that I was disappointed that the Thames sailing barges got so little mention on TV or in the press. After all, the Pageant was on the River Thames, and they are the boats specially designed for the river and which for so many years carried goods to and from London by river. I hate criticizing what the Queen was doing, or what her advisers had her do, but I had hoped that when the Royal Barge came under Tower Bridge she would continue right to the end of the Avenue of Sail, and then come back to HMS President. As it were, the Queen reviewing the Avenue of Sail. It seems a bit pointless having an Avenue of Sail if the principal person is not going to sail through it. I hope the barge crews didn’t feel too disappointed.
We have established a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant album in our Gallery on Flickr. Go to the Gallery page, click on the link, and you will see the QDJP folder. There are only a few pictures on at the moment, but we shall be adding to them regularly. Incidentally, if any of the barges which took part would like to send us their pictures, we will be happy to include them. Send them to us at:- SocSailingBargeResearch@gmail.com
Found on the “interweb” today an article which brings together two of my interests: barges and the RNLI.
Of course, I was sorry to hear that someone on the Cambria, (doesn’t say if it was a crew member or a visitor), had fallen and was injured, but glad that the RNLI could help. Cambria was at Erith, and the incident took place about 3.00am last Wednesday when she had come down river after the River Pageant.
Here’s the link to the story on the This is Local London website.
After the Jubilee Pageant Des Kaliszewki dropped Cygnet’s mast, and set her bridge sail and mizzen to sail through the bridges before the trip boats got under way. Under Westminster and on, now under motor he had the aim of passing under Richmond Half Lock to anchor and spend the day there. In fact he dropped anchor just below Eel Pie Island, and called at the Barmy Arms to meet SSBR Chairman, Elizabeth Wood. Next morning Cygnet tied at Twickenham Yacht Club to take on water (and dispose of their elsan) before returning down river back to Snape.
(Words and photograph by David Wood)
The press and social network sites have been full of criticism of the BBC for its coverage of the Jubilee Weekend events, and particularly of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.
If, like the writer, you were bitterly disappointed that instead of seeing the one thousand boats we were promised, we got cookery demonstrations, artists with soggy paintings of the river, and inane comments from second rate so-called celebrities, to say nothing of total inaccuracies about the Queen, the Royal Family, the boats and the order they were in, then please sign this e-petition.
“BBC’s Dire Coverage of the Thames Flotilla and other Jubilee Events
We the undersigned are appalled at the BBC’s dire coverage and reporting of the Jubilee events especially during the Thames Flotilla on Sunday June 3. We are particularly concerned at the lack of professionalism with regards to the presentation, editing and camera angles. We are shocked at the use of the term ‘Her Royal Highness’ when referring to Her Majesty the Queen. We are appalled at the total lack of knowledge shown by the presenters of the individual boats appearing in the Flotilla, especially regarding the Historic Boats and the ‘Little Boats of Dunkirk.’ We were most disappointed that the Spirit of Chartwell was not shown passing through Tower Bridge. This programme was transmitted worldwide and was a national embarrassment. We are also concerned that the Olympics will be likewise dumbed down.”
You can sign the petition via this link: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34656
This is the link to an excellent map and article about the Pageant, which appears on the London Town website. Thanks to Mark Tilley of LondonTown.com for pointing it out to us and allowing us to use it.
I went down to Tilbury Landing Stage on Thursday evening because Cambria, lying at the new Town Pontoon at Gravesend, was to start her journey up river ready to join the Avenue of Sail for the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on Sunday.
It was a dull evening with slight rain, but, with the car on the landing stage, I was able to stay in the dry and just get out when Cambria was ready to sail. She slipped her moorings at 18.05 and began the first tack across the river. She looked tremendous. Two tacks later, and she was near the Tilbury Landing Stage. I could see everyone on deck, and identified Julie. I had said I would wave a Union flag, which I did madly, and Julie says she could see me.
And then they were gone, hidden by the massive cargo ship moored at the far end of the Landing Stage because she’s too big to get into the Docks.
Meanwhile, more treats appeared. First, the magnificent Tenacious, owned and operated by the Hampshire-based Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity that promotes the integration of able-bodied and physically disabled people via the challenges of crewing a square rigged tall ship at sea. As she approached Tilbury, a rib left the ship with six young people in yellow waterproofs who climbed on to the Landing Stage. They found the deputy harbour master – that was lucky, usually there’s never anyone there when you want them – and he said Tenacious could tie up at the far end.
Shortly afterwards a little grey motor boat appeared, followed by three sailing vessels.
The grey job was MTB 102, now in private ownership but built in 1937 as a motor torpedo boat able to mount a quick response to threats from both warships and submarines. She saw active service mainly in the English Channel. During ‘Operation Dynamo’, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, she crossed the Channel no less than seven times. In 1944 she carried Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower to review the ships assembled on the South Coast for the D-Day landings. So she saw both the end of the desperate evacuation of the British Forces from Europe and the start of their determined return.
The next sailing vessel was the Jolly Brise, a 1913 Pilot Cutter. She is the only traditional vessel in the UK owned, maintained and sailed by school students. She won the first ever Fastnet Race and then two more after that. In recent years she was the overall winner of Tallships Races 2000 and 2004, being raced and sailed by Dauntsey’s School Students.
She was followed by Provident, a gaff-rigged ketch built in 1924 at Galmpton on the River
Dart, and at 90ft long is one of the medium-sized ‘mule’ class of sailing trawlers. The Brixham sailing trawlers were legendary deep sea fishing vessels, their design combining strength and stability with manoeuvrability and speed. Provident is one of only a handful of these famous vessels still in use and is now operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation for sail training and sailing holidays from their base in Brixham.
Lastly, there was the stately Queen Galadriel, a gaff-rigged ketch Baltic trader built in 1937 in Svenborg, Denmark, and
originally named Else, after the Captain’s daughter. She traded as a cargo vessel around the coasts of Denmark and Norway, initially as a motor sailor, but after 1956 under motor alone. By the 1970s she was no longer needed, but in 1983 she was bought by The Cirdan Sailing Trust and went into service renamed Queen Galadriel. Now the Trust’s flagship, she provides disadvantaged young people with learning opportunities and self development through the challenge of life at sea.
So well worth the scramble back round the M25, actually completed in record time, to see not just Cambria but other vessels taking part in the Jubilee Pageant. The MTB will be in the flotilla accompanying the Queen. The others will be in the Avenue of Sail: Queen Galadriel and Jolly Brise in St Katherine’s Dock, and Tenacious and Provident moored below Tower Bridge on the south side of the river. Cambria will be moored between Tower Bridge and London Bridge, also on the south side, amongst a good number of her fellow sailing barges.