A junior crew has rowed the Queen’s Row Barge on the Thames for the first time.

The crew was from Kingston Grammar School (KGS) and now the barge’s management team are inviting applications from other schools, clubs and associations.

Thames Alive’s Malcolm Knight writes of the recent day: “The event was part of two days of rowing and event trials being run by the management team of the Queen’s Row Barge (QRB) in Thames Ditton the objectives being to look at all aspects of the rowing technique required for this ‘new’ craft and to see if the anticipated uses of the barge could deliver – a tea cruise under oars and a luncheon on board whist moored.

“The Junior VIII’s from KGS arrived at Dittons Skiff & Punting Club where they received a short welcome and briefing during which the QRB arrived and moored.

“The excitement level went up another level when I invited them to go aboard, have a look around and then take their seats in the rowing positions. Yes, it’s all real gold leaf, the decorations are all hand painted, the ceremonials were all hand carved and then moulded from resin – the questions came rapid fire.

“This, the first of many Junior crews to row in ‘Gloriana’, picked up the technique of fixed seat, fixed pin rowing within a few strokes. The timing was good, the pick-up of the 10 ton boat was smooth and a good long low stroke rate was soon found to be the order of the day.

“We rowed Gloriana up past the newly refurbished KGS boathouse where parents and staff were watching, waving and cheering, a memorable moment for everyone.

“At Hampton Court we turned about and rowed past their spiritual home once more in a fine display of oarsmanship.

“The last technique to be learnt was that of ‘tossing oars’. The art of tossing the 16ft wooden oars up in to a vertical position takes technique as well as strength and apart from a couple of minor issues the crew soon had the 18 oars up in full salute followed by a rousing three cheers to celebrate their success.”
Lord Sterling and the management team for QRB intend to make this opportunity available to all rowing clubs, schools and associations over the coming months and years as QRB is moved around the Thames attending events.

For further details please contact Malcolm Knight at


J Sutton

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