Home » River Life » Lighting up the River – Thames Barge Driving Race 2013

Lighting up the River – Thames Barge Driving Race 2013

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It is always a pleasure to see the river full of traffic, and today we saw the Thames Barge Driving Race passing past the Isle of Dogs.

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The race consists of about 12 teams of between 4 and 8 members who drive (steer and row) 30 ton barges over a seven mile course for about 90 minutes from Greenwich to Westminster Bridge.

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As well as the barges there is a flotilla of other boats that follow the action.

It is  38th running of this annual event. Set up in 1975 by a charity called The Transport On Water Association (TOW) with the backing of Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords.

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​The event celebrates the skill of lighterman who moved large amounts of cargo in unpowered barges.

It takes a great deal of river craft navigating a 30 tonne barge in the Thames river currents and the race was created to encourage young people to consider working on the river.

The teams are usually made up by employees of Thames lighterage companies, Port of London Authority  and other Thames organisations.

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Interested spectator

 

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