RUNNING from Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17, this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival will
RUNNING from Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17, this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival will have a free river ferry service from various points in and around Henley.
The festival is billed as a celebration of vintage and classic boats with the addition of period land and air exhibits and displays.
A spokesman for the event said: “Last year we had over 10,000 visitors and it is the largest such event in Europe, with over 200 traditional boats of all sorts and sizes participating, from Three Men in a Boat-style Thames rowing skiffs and punts, Venetian gondolas to slipper launches and a fleet of over 20 Dunkirk Little Ships, World War I and Word War II torpedo boats, and a RAF World War II launch.
“We will also have puffing steamboats, plush Edwardian gentlemen’s launches, elegant cabin cruisers, open wooden boats, canoes, electric boats and some crazy eccentric floating contraptions. Sir Malcom Campbell’s 130mph world record-breaking speedboat will attempt its first public run since 1938
“The very popular Queen’s row barge Gloriana will also pay a return visit, allowing the public to get close up and see her rowed each day. If you want to get even closer then take a trip on the 1883 steamboat Alaska.”
More than 100 vintage and classic vehicles will be on land during the event, as well as military vehicles and a fleet of over 20 amphibious craft splashing in and out of the river.
Air displays will include the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster and the Great War Display Team’s dogfights.
Catering will include the return of the very popular Golden Ball pop-up pub, the Time for Tea vintage tearooms, Daisy’s vintage ice cream and plenty of other unusual food and drink emporiums. Festivalgoers are also welcome to bring a picnic. There will be lots of live jazz and period music to enjoy, with a big band on Saturday evening.
There will also be shopping opportunities, with everything from deck shoes to slipper launches on offer.
The spokesman added: “The festival has always provided lots of entertainment for children — under-18s get in free — and this year is no exception, as youngsters can have a go in traditional skiffs and canoes.”
Other attractions include a vintage fairground with rides and stalls for all the family, “pedal planes” and a flight simulator.
As well as the free ferry service, there will be plenty of free parking. Tickets on the gate are £10 on the Friday and £12 on the Saturday and Sunday. To find out more and book discounted tickets, visit www.tradboatfestival.com
For more information visit the Thames Traditional Boat Festival Facebook page or @tradboatfest on Twitter.