Lord Mayor’s Row

Our traditional rowing boat in the Lord Mayor’s river procession.

The Queen’s barge, Gloriana, in the Lord Mayor’s Parade on the Thames – Nov 2017

It’s part of my make-up to help out if I possibly can. So, a year ago I found myself responding to a desperate call from an old sailing friend Bob Gatehouse. He is a senior figure at the city of London livery company of Fan Makers and his Worshipful Company were taking part in the first ever Lord Mayor’s water procession on the Thames, rowing from Westminster to Tower Bridge.

He was worried that the conditions were going to be far from easy – rowing into a 6 knot tide in a traditional rowing boat. “I just wondered if you fancied a row?” he asked, probably knowing my answer. “Gotcha!”. And so my punishment began and true to all predictions, it was gruelling. We took a full 1Hr 20 mins to cover only 2 miles.

One year on, 2017, and I was back on the Thames in the same boat (I must have made an impression) for a repeat performance. Happily, this year was a dawdle by comparison as we accompanied the Queens barge, Gloriana, down the river, rowing through the heart of London. It was a magnificent thing to do. Great to be a minor part of the pomp and ceremony of the Lord Mayor’s parade…and in a respectable time!

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