Monday, 24 September 2018

Boat rally becomes festival

ORGANISERS of a vintage boat rally which is returning to Henley this summer say it will

ORGANISERS of a vintage boat rally which is returning to Henley this summer say it will be “the biggest and most exciting in Europe”.

About 200 boats will take part in the Thames Traditional Boat Festival, which will take place on and off the river at Fawley Meadows from July 17 and 19.

There will be civilian and military vessels including amphibious landing craft from the Second World War and 25 Little Ships that took part in the Dunkirk evacuation.

The Queen’s ceremonial barge Gloriana is also attending and will parade past the festival site on two days.

There will be aerial displays including flypasts by a Royal Navy Swordfish biplane and Sea King rescue helicopter.

Also present will be the 1883 passenger steamer Alaska and Consuta, the first steam umpire’s launch, built in 1898.

At 10pm on the Saturday, an illuminated boat convoy will set off from the meadows and parade along Henley’s waterfront before turning around at Rod Eyot.

The event, which used to be called the Thames Traditional Boat Rally, was last held in 2013 as it was cancelled due to flooding last year.

It has been renamed to reflect the wider range of family attractions on offer.

An adult weekend ticket costs £22, although group and online booking discounts are available. Visitors may camp overnight or stay in caravans for an additional charge.

For more information, visit www.tradboatfestival.com

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