Aims of City Barge
One of our original purposes
was to bring back rowing barges in modern form. To this end we
have been fortunate to be offered the opportunity to take care of the
Royal Thamesis on behalf of the Drapers’ Company; we are enjoined to
make her available to youth from the inner cities; and we may operate
her for City Barge.
The club also exists to promote the use and enjoyment of hand-powered
boats, such as gigs, skiffs, punts, and canoes, and all manner of
Venetian boats, as well as the shallop the Royal Thamesis.
The means by which we promote
their use are by having a boathouse, the availability of boat
transport, the barn storage space, and members with the right skills
We encourage cruises on other
waterways at home and abroad.
We take part in public ceremonial
events, and private parties, birthdays. weddings, and funerals.
We encourage watermanship, and
To resurrect ceremonial
supply rowers for the Shallop Royal Thamesis for ceremonial
events, but it also our ambition to raise money to re-create or
ressurrect much larger ceremonial barges, such as those of the City
Livery Companies and most particularly the Lord Mayor's Barge.
This type of barge was rowed by 26
oarsmen together with a Bargemaster to direct the rowers and he was
assisted by a whiffler in a small boat to help steer the 80ft. barge.
At the other end of the barge were the musicians who entertained the
guests who sat in comfort under the canopy roof. Handel's water music
was written for just such a barge on a special Royal occasion.
Other countries, too, had their
ceremonial barges, for example the Bucentaur in Venice, or the
ceremonial barges of the Kings of Thailand. It would be interesting to
put on a show of replicas of ceremonial barges and also objects
associated with them.
details about the barges follows on another page.
To restore and row Venetian
These boats are beautifully built
and are a joy to row. We get admiring looks wherever we take
them. People on the river bank are curious about our
style of rowing, except in Venice - where they know! Venetian
rowing doesn't put anyone at a disadvantage. Almost anyone can learn
how to do it - like riding a bicycle. Naturally those who learnt as
children in Venice have a slight advantage, but those of us who never
learnt to row at school or university can easily start to row. Standing
up and facing forwards can be enormous advantage on a crowded piece of