Visit the Trad Boat Festival this weekend at Fawley Meadows and see the world’s largest showcase of traditional river craft plus vintage cars, military equipment, aeroplanes and other machines.
The very popular Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana will be paying a return visit allowing the public to get close up and see her rowed each day.
Dad’s Boats, the new pedal boats will be exhibiting for the first time. David Williams (Dad) built his first Pedal Boat in the 1950s. Norfolk based Dad’s Boats is a family run business manufacturing and selling their latest unique design which allows two people to face each other and pedal forwards in comfort. The sophisticated gearbox makes it efficient, easy to use and environmentally friendly so you can just sit back, sip a drink, chat and take some gentle exercise while enjoying the water. David William’s son-in-law, Stephen Pitkethly of Dad’s Boats says, “We are very excited about this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival. This maybe our first visit but we feel it’s the perfect ‘fit’ for our boats – it’s all about getting out on the water and enjoying yourself and our Pedal Boats are designed especially for that.”
Luxury Henley watchmakers, Bremont Watch Company are providing large clocks for time-checking the sail-pasts and are offering an almost priceless prize of a personalised Bremont Watch for the winner of the overall Concours D’Elegance.
Erik D’Arcy Donnelly will be organising a light-hearted Charity Dog Show on Sunday. Naturally there will be a class for Nautical Dogs and Piratical owners. Entry forms can be obtained from the Reading Road Veterinary Clinic or you can just turn up and register at the “Trad”. The Supreme Champion will win a portrait by generous, eminent local artist, Clive Hemsley.
The Members enclosure sponsored bu Phyllis Court Club will be offering complimentary tea and coffee in the mornings and a concierge service to take care of any bags or coats you wish to park. The enclosure has a dedicated bar, a “Bubbly Bike”, priority ordering from the “Golden Ball’s” menu and of course, exclusive luxury loos! Plus an invitation to the Members reception onboard the The Queen’s Row Barge ‘Gloriana’!
In keeping with the festival’s slightly eccentric theme, there will be an exhibition of artwork and zany inventions by Rowland Emett, the Punch cartoonist who designed the famous flying car for the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (filmed in nearby Turville) and the “breakfast machine” that appears in the opening scene with Dick Van Dyke.
In the air, see the amazing The Great War Display Team on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1600. They will be flying in loose formation with WWI era boats parading on the river, including the unique WWI Royal Navy torpedo boat CMB 9 / DCB1. Don’t miss too the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on Saturday at 13:40.
Hobbs of Henley are running a free boat taxi from Red Lion Lawn on Saturday and Sunday between 10-6pm.
Stay late and see the illuminated boat and bike parades and join the party with top band, The Covered on Saturday evening at 9pm at the pop-up pub – Luscombes At The Golden Ball.
Gates open noon Friday 14th and close 7pm Sunday 16th July.
Tickets are available to purchase online now at http://www.tradboatfestival.com/festival-tickets at prices ranging from £8 for a day ticket on Friday to £26 for a full 3 day weekend adult ticket. Parking is included in the ticket price