Nautical twist to Herefordshire’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Herefordshire unique nautical history will come alive as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
For the first time a replica of a Wye Trow is being built out of locally sourced timber.

The Wye Trow – a working vessel which used to ply its trade along the River Wye – will represent Herefordshire in the Thames Jubilee Pageant, which will see 1,000 boats travelling down the River Thames in London on June 3 next year, and will be headed by the Queen.

“This is a particularly exciting element of Herefordshire’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations,” said Bob Tabor, who is on the Herefordshire Diamond Day organising committee and is overseeing the trow project.

“We’ve carried out extensive research which has allowed us to build the working replica of a River Wye Trow. It really is a case of history coming alive,” added Bob, a keen sailor.

The timber for the flat-bottomed 36ft-long trow has been sourced from Herefordshire’s Foxley and Garnons estates and is currently being built by Nielsens of Gloucester, one of the few boat builders in the country which specialises in this kind of work.

“In the 18th and 19th centuries, these trows would have been built at Hereford and other places along the River Wye, and they would have been used to move cargoes such as coal and wood, cider and wool. They were eventually superseded by the railways at the end of the 19th century.”

The Herefordshire trow is set to be finished in spring next year, in time for it to be tested before it takes part in the Thames Jubilee Pageant carrying the Lord Lieutenant, Lady Darnley, along the Thames.

“Once the celebrations are over, the trow will be used for education, tourism and art and will be used in various locations across the county to highlight Herefordshire’s heritage, so it’ll be a lasting legacy of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations,” added Bob.