I had an article published in a fabulous magazine for all those who love classic boats and traditional craft. The balotina Nicoletta, a ceremonial gondola, pictured below, must be one of the most elegant on the River Thames.
I am rowing at No 4 in this photograph of the Drapers’ shallop Royal Thamesis taken by Peter King. The shots of the Gloriana are my own:
There is lots more to read in the magazine including a story from Roger Barnes about taking his dinghy to a sail-and-oar challenge in France, as well as news of Thames barges on the east coast.
Classic Sailor are eager to hear from readers about what kind of articles they’d like included. If anyone can send me a book review or perhaps a piece on sailing films, I could forward it to the editor.
To read more about the event and see wonderful photographs, please click here
Comments from readers are flooding in:
‘I really enjoyed your article and photos.’ Richard
‘This is a really nice article you have written – well done! It is a fitting tribute to such a memorable day…’ Edwina
‘..where were the BBC TV on the day?’ Juliet
‘Standing rowing is, for me, the best way to travel in the canals and rivers of Britain. Out at sea in the waves, clearly, sitting rowing has a place. But I like seeing where I’m going.’ Peter
‘..is (the gondola) from the Tudor/16th Cent period or earlier? Kenny
‘ excellent article… the “sandalo in the background” is my sandalo Piero with its crew of Tony Meadows, three delightful ladies from Venice and yours truly. One of my prouder moments although I have never concentrated so hard in my effort to keep in formation. Fortunately Tim Williams kept Nicoletta on an impeccable course making it easier for the rest of us.’ John Sykes
‘Enjoyed your article in Classical Sailor,’ Ted
The Drapers’ shallop on the River Erdre
You know what it’s like; you never see photos of yourself on holiday until someone else sends them to you. Here I am, rowing in the bow of the Drapers’ shallop. By some miracle we seem to be together, in that our blades are barely visible.
The most challenging task for me is raising my oar in salute, as we did here for our landlady:
The long oars are heavy. The only way I can raise mine is by putting one end under my foot.
My fellow rowing club member who took these shots from the water explained that his camera unexpectedly went into an ‘Impressive Art’ setting. Although this looks like a painting, it was for real, taken out on the water from a sandolo.
As you can imagine, the whole trip took quite a bit of organising, but it was worth it. This shot was also taken on art mode.
While some of us worked really rather hard on our holiday, others enjoyed the river from a different perspective.
Next week, on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th September, The Draper’s Shallop will be taking part in Countryside Live at Lee Valley in the London Borough of Hackney, when children from the inner city of London will get a chance to pull an oar and experience what it feels like to travel on the river as Queen Mary once did. I’m volunteering on the Thursday.
On Saturday 27th September, she will be competing in London’s river marathon along with 300 other crews. The course of the The Great River Race starts at London Docklands, with vessels rowing up the River Thames under all the great bridges of the capital to Ham House in Richmond, passing under Kew Bridge at about 3.00pm. Let me know if you spot her!
~ photos by Robin Privett