19 boats make it to London’s St Katharine Dock’s to join Diamond Jubilee celebrations

The MBM Cruising Club’s weekend event, to mark the Queen’s

60th year on the throne, took place at St Katharine Docks this

weekend.

In the shadow of Tower Bridge and at the heart of the

Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrations, the fleet of 19 boats and some 80 crew

joined in the fun, in spite of a somewhat badly timed rain squall that felt

more biblical than royalist.

As part of the weekend, a best-dressed boat award was up for

grabs. Judged by MBM editor Carl Richardson and his daughter Maya, and St Kat’s

marina consultant William Bowman, points were awarded for both crew and boat

attire, as well as bonus points for patriotism and originality. Awash with red

white and blue, the fleet put on a grand display, highlights being Geoff and

Ann Parr’s Third Time Lucky with its

grotto-like cockpit and Colin and Jocelyn Wright’s Karin, bedecked in floral tributes. But the unanimous winner was Charisma (pictured), with Andrew and Patricia turning out an impeccably dressed crew

and cockpit ­- though suggestions of judge bribery using Jubilee inspired

muffins are still being investigated.

With the Cruising Club crews gathered in a private riverside

courtyard, the Flotilla passed under Tower Bridge at around 1615hrs, led by the

belfry barge and its Jubilee Bells. Once the row barge, Gloriana, had pulled majestically past, it was time for the Queen

to make her entrance aboard the Royal Barge Spirit

of Chartwell
. Tower Bridge rose up in salute and the heavens opened, but

nothing could dampen the cheer and goodwill that rang out from the banks of the

River Thames.

Suitably huge and adorned in golden ornaments and Royal

finery, Spirit of Chartwell pivoted

around in front of us, before mooring up at President’s Quay, allowing Her

Majesty a chance to see the Flotilla sail downstream. With the MBM gang now

suitably sodden but far from downcast, a fitting finale came at around 1800

with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a blast of fireworks marking the end

of a truly unique moment for Queen, country and the River Thames.

A full gallery of images from the Jubilee weekend will be

posted here soon.