TWO MORE DIAMOND JUBILEE PAGEANTS ON THAMES

Two Thames pageants are being staged next month - in addition to the Diamond Jubilee event in London - both at Henley-on-Thames.

Pageant one on June 2nd is for boats which were unsuccessful or whose owners did not apply for the event on the Tideway.

Three weeks later - on June 25th - another is to be held for the Queen who will be visiting the Oxfordshire town as part of her Jubilee year tour.

Sixty boats have already signed up for the first pageant on the Henley Royal Regatta reach.

Organiser Jan Beyts says the rally is aimed at “vintage and character boats.” She said: "Rather than an ‘alternative’ I would describe it as a forerunner of the London pageant – we’re the day before.”

Boats will muster downstream of Temple Island at noon on Saturday June 2nd. They will then sail upstream to the town, under Henley bridge to Marsh lock. Boats will proceed along the course twice before mooring at Marsh Meadow for an evening barbecue.

Boats entered so far include a flotilla of slipper launches A commemorative burgee has been commissioned and is available to participating boats.

Jan Beyts said: “We have had an enthusiastic response from boat owners who are not taking part in the London pageant for a variety of reasons. Around 60 boats have signed up for the free event and we are getting more entries every day.

“We also expect a big crowd on the river bank, there has been a great reaction to our idea.”

Entries for the pageant are still open by email to JanBeyts@aol.com

The June 25th event is on the river near Henley Business School upstream from Hambleden lock. Around 30 boats are taking part to illustrate a Thames history theme. Actors in period costume will perform a production entitled Time and the Thames.


Story updated May 14th 2012