What a stunning sight. The Queen’s row barge, ‘Gloriana’ moored at King’s Lawn, Sunbury on a Saturday morning. Alongside was the ‘Jolly Brit’ one of the three original tenders to the Royal Yacht Britannia, and the ‘Impossible Dream’ the Sailability boat equipped for wheelchair users.

To make the scene even more local, the crew on the ‘Gloriana’ that morning was the Sunbury Skiff and Punting Club, in their distinctive red, white and grey shirts. On board was the Mayor of Spelthorne, Cllr Vivienne Leighton, and a specially selected group of VIP’s, local people who had done their bit for the community over the years.

I had splendid views from the Jolly Brit.

Crowds lined the riverbank and locks to watch the beautiful craft make her way upriver towards Staines. The crew raised blades in traditional fashion, nervously making sure they didn’t scratch them! It is a precious vessel and a real honour and privilege to be rowing her. The crew did Sunbury proud!

At lunch time the flotilla moored up at Thames Court above Shepperton Lock for refreshments and the crew handed over. Boats which had joined in were replaced with others as they progressed to Staines upon Thames, where the Gloriana was on display at the annual Staines upon Thames day the following day. It was a splendid day, clearly enjoyed by all.