News‎ > ‎Academy News‎ > ‎

Millbrook Student Takes Part in the Jubilee Flotilla

posted 30 Jul 2013, 04:54 by Google Google   [ updated 30 Jul 2013, 04:55 ]
Millbrook student Will Brown had a once in a lifetime experience when he was lucky enough to take part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Flotilla.

Below is Wills description of his amazing day, despite the appalling weather!

On 3rd of June 2012 we celebrated the 60 year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. One of the main events that took place to commemorate this historical occasion was the flotilla of 1000 boats travelling down the Tames in formation lead by Gloriana, a barge commissioned as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, (with the added luxury of an outboard motor!). I was in a replica of a boat used in the first Oxford / Cambridge boat race, held in 1829. Our uniform stuck to tradition so we fitted in with the boat by wearing a white Zephyr (a kind of shirt used in the 19th century).

We arrived at 9:30am at the London University boat club’s slipway. The tide had just gone out and the ground was so muddy you would sink a couple of inches if you stood still for too long.

Once the boat had been scrutinised by the umpires we had our group photo taken (below) and then we set off to Putney Bridge. It took about half an hour to reach the bridge, once we arrived we had to wait ten minutes for the rest of the man powered section to form up, then we got the green flag to go towards the mustering point, through the seemingly endless moorings of the leisure, service and Dunkirk little ships.

The atmosphere was fantastic! Boats of all shapes, sizes blowing their horns and the crews cheering as loudly as they could! We arrived at the Mustering point at about 11:15 and moored up for an hour, during this hour the sides of the river filled with hundreds of thousands of people all eager for kick off, and at 12:15 precisely we started the procession; the crowd by this time was a sea of red, white and blue! They roared, waved and whooped and waved their flags as the flotilla picked up speed.

At Battersea we laid eyes on the gold and red Royal Barge and in a fluid motions all the boats lifted their blades out of the water and pointed them skywards. Three cheers of ‘hip, hip, hoorah’ sang out. We carried on passed the London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, HMS Belfast and numerous bridges.

After 2 hours we reached Tower Bridge where we heard a gun salute from the artillery based at the Tower of London. When the procession finished at Tower Bridge the heavens opened and we were drenched and freezing, but what an amazing, once in a lifetime experience.

Will Brown