Cotehele Quay Gig Club’s Cream of Cornwall confirmed to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
The afternoon of Sunday 3rd June will see a thousand boats gather on the river Thames in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It will be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river with rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, stretching for an estimated twelve and a half miles.
It has proved extremely popular with three boats applying for every place. The pageant organisers and representatives from the river community were involved in the selection process which included considering safety, fitness-for-purpose and range of vessel type as well as exploring whether the vessel was of historical significance or had an interesting story to tell. At the end of 2011, organisers confirmed to applicants the lucky boats who will take part in this historic event.
The Cream of Cornwall owned by Cotehele Quay Gig Club and sponsored by Roddas Creamery will be rowed along the Thames by a mixed crew. The club is delighted to have their boat selected to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant as one of the traditional pilot gigs which will be travelling in the flotilla.
Gig Captain Jeremy Lawrence said, “This is such an exciting opportunity for the club to take part in a once in a lifetime event and it is a fantastic boat to be representing Cornwall. We have had so many club members wanting to take part that we are going to have to draw names out of a hat but hope to have a crew that will reflect the diversity of the club.”
The Cream of Cornwall is a six-oared rowing boat, which was built in 2010 by Brian Nobbs of Lifton. Built of Cornish narrow leaf elm, the gig is 32 feet (9.8m) long with a beam of 4’ 10”. The original purpose of the Cornish Pilot Gig was as a general work boat, and used for taking pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic. In those days the race would be the first gig to get their pilot on board a vessel got the job. Today, Pilot Gigs are used primarily for sport, with around 100 clubs across the globe. The main concentration is within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Jeremy continued: “We’ll certainly have the Cornish flag flying on the day and will celebrate in true Cornish style with a traditional cream tea at the finish line.”
Every vessel will proudly take its place in the flotilla alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family aboard the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell.