What we did on our holiday ~ Part Two

royal thamesis in the French newspapers

A newspaper report has just arrived from Nantes in France, where we arrived on 30th August in our shallop, the Royal Thamesis and Serena, a sandolo belonging to our rowing club, City Barge. As I explained in my previous post, we’d been asked to lead a procession of historic boats into the city as feature of their jazz festival – an activity holiday with a difference.


I’ve also been sent these photographs of the sandolo, showing our standing up oarsmen being applauded by the crowds.

10620557_10152240262897821_5850021894383206567_n The traditional French rowing boats taking part such as Fille de la Loire, were also admired by thousands.


Although a couple of gondolas took part, accompanying us some way down the River Erdre, I don’t remember seeing them in Nantes.


There was certainly a huge variety of boats involved in the Rendez Vous de l’Erdre 2014.

Click here for another photo on the website of Club d’Aviron de Suce sur Erdre. 


The 240 vessels taking part ranged from sleek period motorboats to a barge once used to transport cattle, which was now taking jazz musicians downriver.

I loved seeing the steam boats or bateaux vapeur, including Ursula who was flying the flag of the SBA or British Steam Boat Association we once belonged to as a family.


After mooring up in the basin at Nantes,


the Mayor of the city treated us all to the most fabulous reception at the Hotel de Ville.


We found that a feast awaited us. Hungry sailors and oarsmen were rewarded for their efforts with a variety of delicious things to eat and local wines.


Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

6 thoughts on “What we did on our holiday ~ Part Two”

  1. My parent’s friend was called Mrs. Hunter, or Hunty to us as children. She was quite unique. Herself and her husband bought The Heald from Arthur Ransome, and we spent some magical holidays there. I developed my lifelong passion/curiousity for nature/environment/conservation.
    My lingering memory is of sitting on the Coniston slate porch, with the scent of the conifers in the air, looking over to ‘The Old Man’, and listening to the gentle chug of unseen old motor boats passing, oh, and the dilapidated boathouse. Utterly stunning.

    1. Thank you so much for adding a comment. Have you read the story about Arthur Ransome selling The Heald to the Hunters? I remember reading about it in one of his biographies, if not two or three.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: