Thames Festival Classic Rally at St Katharine Docks, 2009

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Jim Vandenbos’s mobile phone photos of the 2009 inaugural Thames Festival Classic Rally. If anyone else has photos they’d like to share, please email me at

The first Thames Festival Classic Rally at St Katharine Docks, London last weekend was a success and seems likely to be be repeated next year.

I couldn’t make it for reasons not unconnected with my broken ankle, but my pal Jim Vandenbos dropped by to see Lord Boris’s Thames’ Festival after the cricket at Lords finished early.

Among other things he was keen to see the rally at St Katharine’s Dock and beetled over to take a look. When pressed for numbers he guessed that there were something over 30 classic boats in the dock, including Arthur Ransomes’ Nancy Blackett as seen in the novel We didn’t mean to go to Sea, and a very nice Uffa Fox Fairey Marine yacht. He also says there were a good number of visitors strolling around the dock.

If Jim’s right, I’d say 30 boats was a good, healthy number.

Event organiser Ian Welsh told intheboatshed that the rally had been a success. ‘It went very well indeed, the entrants loved it and so it seems did the St Katharine’s people – so fingers crossed we’ll do it next year again. We already have lots of ideas for next year.’

More photos have been posted by the organisers on their website.

The rally also made The Times – see the story here.

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