Team Fox’s invited aboard Havengore for prestigious Thames Barge Race

posted on 4th July 2018 within

Saturday 30th June saw the 43rd running of the prestigious and unique, fun rowing event, that sees 12 teams of between 4 and 6 crewmembers who drive (steer and row) 30 tonne barges over a seven mile course along the River Thames from Greenwich to Westminster Bridge. The event commemorates the skills of lightermen who moved freight this way along the Thames up until the 1930s.

Fox’s Marina & Boatyard staff involved in the recent refit work on MV Havengore were most fortunate to be invited back on board by Havengore’s owner, Chris Ryland, to spectate this fascinating event at which Havengore was also used as the official time-keeping vessel.

Embarking at Tower Pier along with other guests, including the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the event time keepers, everyone on-board was given a grandstand view of the race and London from the river, whilst enjoying the very best hospitality that Havengore’s galley and crew offer their guests.

The competing barges started at Greenwich and, despite displacing over 30 tonnes, were manoeuvred by Licenced Watermen and Lightermen, using just three, over length oars or ‘sweeps’. Carrying the flood tide up river, considerable skill was required to pilot the unpowered barges as they negotiated the numerous bridges spanning the River Thames before finishing at Westminster.

Under clear skies and sunshine, for many associated with working on the river it was a terrific day out, with families joining in the spectacle on everything from working boats to river cruisers. For those of us from Fox’s who have spent many hundreds of hours working on this fine vessel ashore in the Fox’s workshops, it was a fantastic opportunity to see Havengore afloat in all her glory.

Many thanks go to Havengore’s owner, Chris Ryland, for his ongoing support of Fox’s and the many people involved in keeping Havengore in commission.

Havengore is the most historic charter boat operating on the River Thames in central London. When she is not engaged on ceremonial duties, Havengore is available for charter and is licensed to carry up to 40 passengers plus crew when cruising, and 60 for moored events.  Find out more…