Monday, 17 June 2019

‘Trad’ boat festival returns for 41st year

‘Trad’ boat festival returns for 41st year

THIS year’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival was officially launched at the River & Rowing Museum.

The 41st event will take place at Fawley Meadows in Henley from Friday to Sunday, July 19 to 21.

It will feature the largest display of traditional boats in Europe, the fleet of Dunkirk “Little Ships”, the Queen’s row barge Gloriana, amphibious and military vehicles and a First World War air display team.

Guests were welcomed to the launch by festival chairwoman Lady McAlpine on Thursday evening last week and enjoyed Mr Hobbs gin, Fairmile Fizz and canapés.

Lady McAlpine told the guests: “We should be far more closely allied to the museum because we are, in essence, the three-day festival of what the museum is about — messing about on the river, showing young people its charms and its heritage and keeping alive the skills required to maintain that heritage. The more successful the ‘Trad’ is at attracting the public, the more people will learn about the beautiful old boats that so many of you lovingly maintain. You can’t aspire to owning and caring for something you haven’t seen and lusted after.”

Lady McAlpine said she hoped the museum would have a permanent display covering the festival.

She thanked visitors and sponsors including Shanly Foundation, Hobbs of Henley, Grundon and the Rug Company. She also appealed for volunteers to help with car parking, ticket selling and general information.

The festival will once again be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Its ultimate aim is to provide apprenticeships in traditional boatbuilding and associated crafts.

For tickets, boat entries and more information, visit www.tradboatfestival.com

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