Today (Sunday 11th May) we travelled to the Pool of London intending to view the finale of the “Tudor Pull” – but unfortunately only caught the aftermath of the event after having been held up in traffic!
The “Tudor Pull” is an annual ceremonial event, this year involving the Queen’s Royal barge “Gloriana”, the Royal shallop “Jubilant”, the Company of Watermen and Lightermen’s shallop “Lady Mayoress” and accompanying cutters, and assorted other craft, all decked out in full regalia, rowing twenty-five miles down the Thames from Hampton Court to the Tower of London. The main aim is to deliver to the Governor of the Tower a symbolic “stela” (a piece of Medieval water-pipe made of hollowed-out elm) – and thus to promote the use of the Thames for transport. The event also commemorates the sinking of Eleanor of Provence’s barge, and the drowning of one of her courtiers, the Lady of the Bedchamber, under Old London Bridge, in 1256. This year’s, marked the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, under Henry VIII, in 1514.