Thames at War 2019

What a day!  We had over 17,000 visitors and apart from it being a little chilly, everyone seemed to be very happy.

The event was organised by Richard Hawkins, Karen and Bret Wiles, but there are a lot of people to thank (in no particular order):

  • Frank, Sharen and Roisin for manning the lock and traffic across the lock.
  • John for organising the vehicles
  • Phil for organising the exhibitors car park
  • Lizzie for the Whippet Cafe
  • Thomas and Laurence for bringing the Cockle canoe from Devon
  • Steve, whose Winston Churchill was legendary
  • May Blossom and Jilly for keeping us entertained
  • Ashleigh and Josh for the Field Kitchen and being our slaves for the weekend
  • The boat and vehicles owners (a special thank you to Claire and Paul on Anamac for allowing the walking wounded to embark)
  • All of the re-enactors (who are too numerous to mention individually)
  • The Environment Agency for allowing us to do this.
With no budget and a lot of hard work and imagination it goes to show what can be achieved.

The programme was:

10.00The event will open with a Flag Break Ceremony by Oxfordshire Home Guard.

10.30Winston Churchill arrives by boat in to Abingdon Lock.  He will then perform an inspection of the Home Guard.

11.00May Blossom Vintage Songbird will delight us with songs from the era.

12.00Dunkirk Scenario.  The 69eme Regiment Infanterie de Fortresse & 2nd Glosters will be re-enacting the walking wounded returning from Dunkirk on board cruiser Anamac, followed by a speech by Winston Churchill.

1.00Launch of the Mk7 'Cockle' Canoe. A unique chance to see the only complete one afloat.

2.00Talk on the Upper Thames Patrol by Bill King 

2.30Unveiling of the Upper Thames Patrol memorial plaque by Bill King and Winston Churchill who will then give a speech.

3.00Dunkirk Scenario (as previously).

3.00Jilly Melodies and Memories will delight us with a medley of 40s songs. 

4.00 Finish