TRADITIONAL BOAT RALLY TO CELEBRATE HISTORY OF THE SLIPPER LAUNCH

The Thames Traditional Boat Rally returns in July after a year’s forced absence because of flood conditions on the river.

This year’s rally, the 36th, will celebrate 100 years of the Thames slipper launch.

A replica of the original boat, Merck, and presently owned by Freebodys boatyard will be on show. And organisers are hoping slippers from each decade of the century since will also be on display.

The launches were originally built by Andrews at Bourne End but other boatyards along the river also made them including Meakes, Woottens and Freebodys. Their heyday was in the 1920s and 30s and they were designed to be as easy to drive as a car. Few were expected to last until today.

The rally on July 20th and 21st returns to Fawley Meadows at Henley but with changes. Most of the marquees and stands will now be on the lower, downstream, meadow. Camping will be moved to the adjoining rugby ground.

Link to Thames Trad Rally website

Story dated February 20th 2013

 
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