Scenes from earlier Beale Park Thames Boat Shows. Could that be Adrian Morgan
and the editor of Classic Boat in the pretty double-ender?
Spring is almost upon us in Southern England, and together with the first blossoms and soft new leaves on the hawthorn comes a press release announcing the Beale Park Boat Show for 2008.
This year it runs from the 6th to the 8th of June.
Set around a scenic seven-acre lake by the River Thames in Berkshire, the show’s best feature is that visitors can take to the water in a variety of boats, including dinghies, canoes and coracles.
Children and partners not entirely in thrall to a well-placed boat nail can enjoy a range of entertainments including live music, a demonstration by Newfoundland dogs, a climbing wall, Mr Toad and various children’s activities. There will also be boating displays on the lake, stalls selling specialist foods and, of course, a beer tent.
Tickets can be bought in advance online via the Beale Park website, or by phone on 0118 976 7498.
I hope to get to the show myself on one of the days – you’ll recognise me in a moment, as I’ll be the guy rushing around photographing everything that looks remotely interesting!
Beale is the most important wooden boat show I know of in in England and Wales. Take a look at our extensive coverage of last year’s event.
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1905 Thames skiff on show at the NMMC, Falmouth. Naturally, I’ve asked the
curator to let me know what the boats in the background are!
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall at Falmouth has added a clinker-built River Thames skiff to its collection for ‘flying boats’, which hang from the ceiling, and can be viewed from above and below. It will remain in place for the whole of 2008.
Skiffs have long been used on the Thames as pleasure boats around the turn of the last century. Many are still in use today and can be seen during Swan Upping, an annual ceremony where swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, marked, and then released.
The particularly skiff on display was built by Hammerton of Thames Ditton in 1905 and features all her original equipment including part of the original cane in the back seat. I’ve linked to an interesting set of skiff plans drawings at this intheboatshed.net post.
A similar boat famously featured in Jerome K Jerome’s much loved 1889 novel Three Men in a Boat, which tells the comic story of three friends taking a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford. The trip was recreated for the BBC some time agao by comedians Griff Rhys-Jones, Dara O’Briain and Rory McGrath. More recently the same trio appeared in another reality TV entertainment in which they raced on board Rhys-Jones beautiful Phil Rhodes-designed yacht Undina.
Visit the National Maritime Museum Cornwall website.
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This sweet 10ft clinker-built double-ended skiff looks extremely difficult to build, at least to me – but it’s wonderfully pretty nevertheless
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