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Restored American motor yacht Judith R to star at festival.
Pic: Susanne Williams.


The relaunched Thames Traditional Boat Festival has been expanded to three days this year  - and promises to be bigger than ever.

The event nearly disappeared from the Thames summer calendar last year but a new committee breathed new life into Europe’s biggest gathering of  traditional boats resulting in record crowds.

Now the festival, being held at Fawley Meadows,Henley, this weekend ( July 15th-17th) promises to be even better.

Over 200 boats are attending and what has previously been a two-day weekend event expanded  to Friday as well.

Update: Twice last year's number of exhibitors and trade stands have been confirmed for the festival.

Update: A free service will operate from Henley town centre to the festival site. Boats, sponsored by Phyllis Court Club, will pick up passngers from three points in the town - near the River and Rowing Museum, from the town quay next to the Angel on the Bridge, and from Red Lion lawn.

Among the highlights of this year’s festival:

First appearance at a public event of Judith R (above), a fully restored American luxury commuter yacht dating from the 1930s and once owned by the head of Paramount Pictures to commute between his New Jersey home and Manhattan. She has been fully restored in a ten-year project by well-known boatyard Woottens of  Winter Hill, Cookham. Read More

Bluebird K3 and royal row barge Gloriana

Bluebird K3 (above) the powerboat of Sir Malcolm Campbell which set three world speed records and has been saved and restored by  enthusiasts in Sussex. The boat will be on display on land on the festival site Read BBC report on restoration.

The Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana making a return visit to the festival.

Motor torpedo boat 102, which saw active service in the English Channel during World War II and crossed to Dunkirk eight times as part of Operation Dynamo in 1940.More about the MTB.

Seaplane tender 102
, once discovered in a seriously dilapidated state in Cornwall but now back to her original condition. More about the boat

In addition a collection of amphibious vehicles, a fly-past of by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight plus a record number of trade stalls will feature at the show.

The festival's Robin Ford, one of a small group of people who saved the event, said: " We were delighted by the enthusiasm of the large crowds last year but we are hoping the festival will be even better this year.

"Considering the event almost didn't happen at one time, many people have worked very hard to get it back on its feet again. We received very encouraging feedback after last year’s festival and we are aiming again to provide a memorable event with something for the whole family."

Link to the Thames Traditional Boat Festival HERE and we will be updating this page as further announcements are made.

Story updated July 14th 2016