TRAD is 40 years’ old

The Queen's row barge, Gloriana, is the flagship of TRAD The Queen's row barge, Gloriana, is the flagship of TRAD

This summer sees the 40th anniversary of the Thames Traditional Boat Festival.

The gathering of traditional river craft - from coracles to Edwardian steam launches, to 1960’s film-stars’ toys will also include around 30 Dunkirk Little Ships and dozens of amphibious vehicles.

The Queen’s Rowbarge Gloriana will be the flagship vessel and there will be a competition to win a place on board as she is rowed out by various local teams during her three-day sojourn with TRAD.

Ancient skills

There will also be other outstanding visiting craft this year Bluebird K3 will visit.

“Our slightly more serious aim is to promote the good clean fun of ‘messing about on the river’ and to fund boat-building apprenticeships to keep these ancient skills alive,” explained the Hon. Lady McAlpine, festival co-chairman.

“Most of the boats welcome visitors on-board (possibly not the coracles and canoes) as the owners are not just proud of their craft but most are here to win coveted annual awards which are scrupulously judged during the weekend.”

The festival will also include a large vintage ‘military encampment’ to complement the Little Ships, old cars and bicycles and shopping. There will also be a boat jumble and antiques avenue, roving musicians and Punch and Judy.

The festival takes place from July 20 - 22.

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