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Thread: Magna Carta celebrations begin on River Thames

  1. #1
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    Default Magna Carta celebrations begin on River Thames

    Interesting choice of transport given one of the statements still in existence....

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33116579

    A replica of Magna Carta is being carried down the Thames as part of events to mark its 800th anniversary.

    The Royal Barge Gloriana is leading 200 boats from Hurley in Berkshire to Runnymede in Surrey over two days.
    Magna Carta was granted by King John on 15 June 1215, establishing that the king was subject to the law rather than being above it.
    Twenty-three local people have been chosen as "charter bearers" to relay the document.


    The pageant, which started at 09:00 BST, has been organised by Thames Alive, with support from Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Runnymede borough and Spelthorne borough councils.
    As the copy of Magna Carta is transported downstream, actors will recount its story.
    Charter bearers, who live, work or study in one of the three boroughs, will carry the document on board the Royal Shallop Jubilant.


    The Queen's Diamond Jubilee barge, Gloriana, is the flagship of the flotilla.
    Five-time Olympic gold medallist rower Sir Steve Redgrave, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, watched as it passed through his home town.
    "It's the first row barge that has been built for 300 years so it's pretty spectacular," he said.


    The event will culminate with the unveiling of a 4m (13ft) bronze statue of the Queen at Runnymede Pleasure Grounds on Sunday.
    Road closures will be in place during the celebrations in Berkshire and Surrey.
    The flotilla is due to arrive at Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, at 20:00. The replica Magna Carta's journey will pause overnight before commencing at 09:00 on Sunday.


    Principles set out in Magna Carta charted the right to a fair trial and limits on taxation without representation.
    It also inspired a number of other documents, including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  2. #2
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    After scouring the web for info, we went to Marlow to see the "200" boats and Gloriana under oars. Marlow was in the grip of their rowing regatta, which was a wonderful piece of organisation, and a spectacular Fun Fair. Less spectacular were the five or six rowed shallops taking the Magna Carta to Runneymede. No sign of the "flotilla" mentioned in the one page time table found on the web. We then went down stream to Cookham Bridge, where various people in medieval dress, some Morris dancers, the Oppy Fleet of the local sailing club and a moored Gloriana kept a large crowd entertained. Talking to a medieval maiden, it transpired that Gloriana had to vacate each landing place so the the oared boats could deliver the "players" ashore to perform. From the bridge we watched Gloriana pass under, with its support rib. Still no 200 flotilla.

    We then motored on by car to Boulters Lock, where another crowd of people were assembled, along with, it turned out a spectacular "flotilla" of about 20 boats, including a spectacular new Thames Gentleman's skiff, a couple of Dragon Boats (one appeared to be the GB team), assorted multi oared rowing boats, and a clinker 1930s open canoe keeping its own council on the other side of the lock cut. This, together with a small number of power cruisers, made up two full locks, and I was assured that there were some more ahead. They had assembled below Cookham Lock, it appeared, and someone seemed to think that further elements of the Flotilla (another 150????) were assembling lower down.

    Throughout the assembled crowd in Maidenhead, Cookham and Boulters were complaints regarding the lack of information available for spectators. Compared with the Great London River Race (even that is not perfect as they do not publish the entry list) the publicity was pathetic. I am a "boat" enthusiast, and would have travelled some distance, and put up with considerable inconvenience to see a 200 flotilla of boats. What I saw was interesting, but could have been so much better with better publicity. As I share a birthday with Magna Carta, I'm particularly disappointed.

    Impcanoe, birthday tomorrow!!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    As I share a birthday with Magna Carta, I'm particularly disappointed.
    Blimey Peter, I didn't know you were that old!!!!!!

    Happy birthday anyway.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter R View Post
    Blimey Peter, I didn't know you were that old!!!!!!

    Happy birthday anyway.
    Ho, Ho, Ho
    Mike

  5. #5
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    I heard about the flotilla some months ago but in order to join it you needed to stump up quite a sum of money. I wrote to them and asked why I would do this if I already had a licence to paddle the river. They gave me some spiel about being part of the event but I was unconvinced and ended up doing DIY.

  6. #6

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    It would be interesting to know what happened on day 1. We only did day 2, having been told, post-registration, that participation on both days was not possible due to high demand. With hindsight that seems unlikely. No-one seemed to expect canoes at the day 2 start, but the hotel let us unload on their turning circle and portage across the garden to the river. No organisers were there to check our registration or issue the parade pennant (we later found out that this had been done on day 1) so we just got on and followed along... Not that there was much to follow; I think the spectators must have had a pretty thin time of it and we felt a bit sorry for those who had organised riverside parties to watch the flotilla go by. It was a nice paddle, for the first few miles just like the many trips we have done on the Thames, but a few boats, mostly rescue ones, joined as we got further downstream. At Windsor, everyone stopped and waited, no-one seemed quite sure why, but some thought that we may be going too fast! The Royal Barge was moored up and some of the party (no idea who they were) were on board. We carried on expecting to be overtaken later, but the barge never caught us up. At the last lock, a lot more boats, including a handful of canoes, were waiting so it looks as though the emphasis was on putting on a show for the final couple of miles to Runnymede. The licence was not included, and we bought a day pass at the first lock. I was surprised, and disappointed, to find that the Runnymede Pleasure Ground seemed to be restricted to ticket holders for the occasion and saw pedestrians being turned away at the gate, as well as motorists. It looks as though the entry fee was to cover the pennant, the free parking (normally pay and display) and entertainment that was going on there.

  7. #7
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    Having a busy weekend, I was lifeguarding for the Windsor Triathlon on Sunday morning, but seized the opportunity to paddle upstream once it was finished to await the arrival of the Royal Barge. I wasn't disappointed, and was glad to have saved my 50.






    Last edited by Fran; 16th-June-2015 at 05:54 PM.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  8. #8

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    Maybe we saw you Fran - were you waiting at the bottom of the lock?

  9. #9
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    No - we paddled about halfway up to the lock before we saw the barge approaching.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



  10. #10

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    We must have just missed you. We'd already had a good look at the barge at Windsor so after the first of the larger boats came through the lock we paddled down slowly, and when we realised that we were nearly at the end we pulled over, attempted some photos and joined in with the canoes as the parade passed. I thought the parade at the end was very impressive - particularly enjoyed the rowers in Edwardian boating costume.

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