Diamond day voyage for Hamish

Hamish Murray, who will take part in the Diamond Jubilee flotilla.'Staff photograph
Hamish Murray, who will take part in the Diamond Jubilee flotilla.'Staff photograph

LOCAL teenager Hamish Murray will be part of history next month when he takes part in one of the largest flotillas ever on the River Thames.

Hamish Murray will be on board one of the 1,000 vessels which will muster on the Thames on June 3 to follow Her Majesty The Queen’s row barge, Gloriana, in the river pageant organised as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The event, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of spectators, harks back to when the river was used as the main route between royal palaces as well as for coronation processions and will follow a seven-mile stretch between Battersea Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Hamish will be reunited for the event with the Lincolnshire-based Humber Super Sloop Spider T, on which he sailed last summer, and he applied for a place on the crew after being contacted by skipper Mal Nicholson.

He said: “At the beginning of this year I was informed by Mal Nicholson that Spider T was to be one of 1,000 vessels stretching for an estimated 12 miles taking part in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant on the Thames.

“I applied for a place on the crew but thought it was fairly unlikely that I would get to go. In March the skipper informed me that I had been accepted to crew on the voyage.

“I can’t wait to get my exams over and done with so that I am ready to head down to Keadby to board the Spider T yet again - this time for around two weeks as opposed to four days.”

Hamish will embark at the sloop’s berth at Keadby on the River Trent and the first leg of the journey will take the Spider T down the Humber to Grimsby overnight. From there it will sail to either Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft, again in an overnight passage, before refuelling and continuing its journey to Harwich.

The final leg will be from there to the Thames estuary where the vessel will join others for the main event which Hamish said he is delighted to be attending.

He added: “I feel truly honoured to be crewing on Spider T for an event which will be a piece of royal history.”

The flotilla promises to be an impressive sight featuring rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes, representatives from the armed forces and emergency services and music barges. There will even be a floating belfry with its chiming bells echoed by those in riverbank churches.