On Sunday 3rd June 2012 over 1000 vessels participated in a seven-mile flotilla on the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It was one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river, with rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed and turned out in their finest rigs.
'Gillian', a traditional Thames double skiff owned by Lucie Henwood and restored by her husband Colin was one of the boats selected to take part in this historic event. She was crewed by Lucie at stroke, Colin at bow, and fellow boatbuilder Mike Wood as cox.
"Participating in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant has to be one of those occasions that you remember and treasure for the rest of your life" said Lucie.
"From the moment that we received the email saying that ‘Gillian’ had been accepted we knew we were going to be a part of a truly historic and never to be repeated occasion. The day itself did not disappoint and, despite the weather, everyone involved was buoyed up with a great sense of pride, enjoyment and good humour due, in no small part, to the amazing support from the hundreds of thousands that cheered us on our way.
For us, highlights included rowing down through the motor boats moored on the Barn Elms reach - this was even before the Pageant started but got us in the mood as our fellow boat owners cheered and supported us. Everyone had made such an effort to get their boats to the right place at the right time including crews who had travelled from all over the country and, indeed, around the world in order to join in and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The whole day was a truly unforgettable experience!"