THE president of Leander Club has been appointed master of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames.
Jeremy Randall, 62, is the 188th person to hold the position since the company was formed 500 years ago.
He was made a freeman of the company for his services to the rowing community about 15 years ago.
The company was created by an Act of Parliament to regulate passenger and cargo traffic on the Thames.
It no longer serves this purpose but still trains apprentice boatmasters and organises the annual Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager race from London Bridge to Chelsea Bridge. Mr Randall, who lives in Ibstone, said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been installed as master.
“It is a great honour and a serious responsibility to play one’s part in ensuring that the river is both a safe and vibrant environment for business.
“The real pleasure is in dealing with young people. There is plenty of work for them at the moment so we hope to train as many apprentices as possible.”
Mr Randall became a member of Leander in 1974 and has previously been secretary, chairman and president of the club.
Tony Hobbs, chairman of Hobbs of Henley, is a freeman of the company.