ON Saturday and Sunday June 13 and 14, Henley Dragons had the privilege of being part
ON Saturday and Sunday June 13 and 14, Henley Dragons had the privilege of being part of the River Thames flotilla celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Day one started from just below Marlow Bridge with the Dragons following the Queen’s royal barge
Gloriana as part-first escort, passing through Bourne End, Cookham and Cookham lock and then becoming part of the Vanguard Group that led the procession down river.
The onward journey from Cookham took the flotilla through Maidenhead, Bray, Eton and Windsor before finally ending the first day at Datchet after an epic seven-hour paddle. A great opening day to a truly historical event.
Day two featured a much shorter paddle, making our way from Datchet through Old Windsor and on down to our final destination at Runnymede.
Gloriana being moored upstream, she was not due on this stretch until late afternoon, so it gave an opportunity for the boats in the Â 200-strong flotilla to process along the river, back and forth between Old Windsor and Runnymede, enjoying the atmosphere created by the crowds and the numerous festivities along the bank.
Gloriana arrived at Old Windsor lock, where the flotilla was waiting to escort her on the final part of her journey down to Runnymede.
This was a fitting finale, the river filled an array of boats including dragon boats, skiffs, gondolas, gigs and many more, all there to celebrate and play their part in a truly historical event.