Herefordshire’s Diamond Day Trow in water trials

The Wye Trow being built to represent Herefordshire in a pageant on the Thames to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has been completed.

For the first time in around 200 years, skills used to construct the trows which hauled goods along the River Wye have been in use again at Nielsen’s boatyard at Gloucester Docks.

The trow has a clinker bow, stern and sides (the timber panels overlap) with a carvel bottom (the timber panels butt up to each other) – ideally suited to the Wye with stretches of deep water, but gentle banks on which the trows would be gently grounded to load and unload.

To ensure the trow is an accurate reconstruction of an original Wye Trow, plans were drawn up after careful measurements were taken of the remains of a Wye Trow which had been uncovered at Lydney.

On Sunday, June 3, The Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lady Darnley, will be on board the newly built trow when it joins 1,000 other water craft for what will be the biggest pageant of boats and ships the River Thames has seen for many centuries.

The spectacular pageant will be one of the highlights of an extended Bank Holiday weekend in June during which beacons will be lit and thousands of Big Lunches will take place up and down the country.

The Wye Trow will carry 14 people for the Thames Pageant, including eight oarsmen/women, who will row the craft.

Out of 24 men and women who volunteered from around the county, a squad of 16 rowers will be selected and of these, the crew of eight rowers and two relief oarsmen will be chosen. 

During the Thames pageant they will be dressed in period costume as they row the 9 miles of the course.

All 16 members of the squad will be invited to attend the naming ceremony of the Wye Trow, due to take place in Hereford’s High town in May, and on Wednesday, July 11, Herefordshire Diamond Day on the King George V playing fields when the trow will be present and the county welcomes the visit of The Queen.

“I was delighted to see the Wye Trow on the water for the first time recently and am eagerly looking forward to taking to the Thames for the pageant in June,” said Lady Darnley, the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire.

“It will be an incredibly proud moment to represent Herefordshire in such a unique vessel constructed out of timber from the county.

“It’s been amazing to see how the trow has taken shape in recent months and I’m staggered by the quality of craftsmanship which has gone into creating such a beautiful vessel.”