London’s biggest celebration of historic and traditional boats.
Central London’s only marina, St Katharine Docks, will again host its annual celebration of beautiful classic boats this September with a display of just under 50 sail and power vessels, alongside a range of waterside attractions.
A fun day out for all the family, the event will provide visitors with an insight into the joy and excitement of boating from a bygone era and is a key part of the Totally Thames celebration, a month-long season of river-related events taking place along the 42-mile London stretch of the Thames.
Taking place over the weekend of 12th and 13th September 2015 (1-5pm), the St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival will provide an opportunity for visitors to chat to the boat owners and even get on board.
Other highlights include a wide range of leading waterside restaurants – including Tom’s Kitchen, Bravas Tapas and White Mulberries – a national maritime museum gallery exhibition, food and river related stalls and live music from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy, the sea shanty singers and the Dutch Marine Rowing Band.
Last year more than 45 classic boats from across the country participated in the event, including several Dunkirk Little Ships, a number of privately commissioned and owned boats, historic working vessels and the historic wooden Thames sailing barge Cambria which is returning again in 2015, after a successful appearance in 2014 with 3,000 visitors on board.
Cambria, built in 1906 and the last British registered vessel to carry a commercial cargo under sail alone, is currently owned by The Cambria Trust, which has the specific objective of restoring, preserving and using the famous barge.
“Sailing Barge Cambria holds a significant place in the maritime heritage of Great Britain and a major element of our work is to open the barge up to the public whenever practicable,” said Basil Bambleby, secretary of The Cambria Trust. “The St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival allows for a congregation of traditional vessels across the board, with ideal public access.
“On the two occasions when Cambria has been at the Festival she had 3,000 visitors on board each time. During these events, visitors were able to appreciate the unique atmosphere aboard a large sailing barge, take in the massive wooden structure, and learn from the interpretative displays.
“Interestingly Cambria has a long-standing relationship with St Katharine Docks and much of her trading time was spent on the River Thames. We appreciate our invite to attend the Festival and have the opportunity to show Cambria to visitors and talk about the role she plays in taking young people to sea.”
Many of the vessels on display will be open to the public and the free entry Festival will also be host to entertainment dockside with singers and musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy and the Sea Shanty Singers performing across the weekend, as well as a special visit from the Band of the Dutch Royal Marines.
Vessel owners and representatives interested in participating in The St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival 2015 are invited to register their interest by emailing: [email protected]
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