Applications close 31 October
Boat owners wishing to register their vessels for participation in next year’s Thames Diamond Jubilee, to be held on Sunday 3 June 2012, have less than two weeks left in which to make their application.
Pageant Master Adrian Evans says: ‘Time is running out for all those who wish to take part. We have had an amazing response and are thrilled with the number and variety of wonderful vessels that have already registered. This will be the biggest river pageant to take place on the Thames since the reign of Charles II, three and a half centuries ago, and it may not happen again for a very long time. So if you have a special or interesting boat, don’t miss the possibility of being involved.’
One thousand boats will be involved in the 12.5-mile-long flotilla, which will stretch from Hammersmith to Greenwich, with the Royal Barge travelling from Putney to Tower Bridge. Featuring vessels of all shapes and sizes, there will be several sections, each led by a music barge. The ‘Avenue of Sail’, from London Bridge to Greenwich, will feature all vessels whose height is over 5.5m – these will be moored on the river bank.
The final selection of participants will take place after registration has closed. ‘The first consideration will be safety and fitness-for-purpose’, said Mr Evans. ‘The Thames is a difficult and dangerous river and we must pay due respect to that.’
The selection team will closely consider those vessels with historical significance or a story to tell. One of the many remarkable vessels that have registered to take part is The Matthew of Bristol, a replica of the sailing ship that took John Cabot to mainland America in 1497, which was recently used to help promote the film The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
But the team is also determined to ensure representation from across the UK and the Commonwealth. ‘We want to make sure that everyone has a great time on what will be an extraordinary day as we say thank you to The Queen for her sixty years of service to the Nation and the Commonwealth.’
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is a key element of planned national celebrations across the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. A detailed pageant briefing is downloadable for anyone completing the registration form.
For further details, see www.direct.gov.uk/diamondjubilee.
Image: SV The Matthew of Bristol, © shawnspencersmith