Thames Classics at St Katherine’s Dock

Alasdair Flint of historic London chandlery Arthur Beale & Co has written to report on the Thames Classics last weekend:

‘The dock was full of colourful, fully dressed vessels including a fine show of classic Thames motor cruisers, the Royal Barge Gloriana, the fire boat Massey Shaw, the steam tug Portwey, and a few Thames sailing barges.

‘The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t looking good but the widely forecast the rain had cleared early on Saturday morning the weekend remained dry. A good crowd turned up on both days, some for the show and some to visit the dock, which is always a busy tourist attraction.

‘There weren’t too many yachts this year but nevertheless there was plenty to feast your eyes on. Personally I thought the star of the show was the quite incredible and recently built George Stephenson, built from salvaged parts from other vessels. The work that had gone into it was staggering. You could go on-board and marvel at the working steam and diesel engines. There were enough pipes and valves to run a nuclear power station.

‘Shore side visitors were entertained by sea shanties, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands.

‘There were a few stands selling street food and RYA training courses, and of course Arthur Beale Yacht Chandlers had their stripy tent full of classic boat bits.

‘It made a great family day out. Maybe next year a few more classic yachts will venture up the Thames to show off their bright work before the end of the sailing season.’

Thanks Alasdair! A forthcoming post from Alasdair will look at the threat to close the boatyard at South Dock in Lewisham, so please watch out for that.

Here’s a snatch of video from the George Stephenson, again from Alasdair. For some great photos of her, click here. It’s so difficult to believe she isn’t 80 or 100 years old…

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