Residents of Herefordshire will get their first glimpse of the Wye Trow – built to represent the county in the Thames Pageant to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – at its official naming ceremony in High Town, Hereford, on Saturday, May 12.
Three weeks later, on Sunday, June 3, the Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Lady Darnley, will be on board 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.
Weighing in at four tons, the 36-ft long trow is a faithful replica of Wye Trows which were a common sight hauling goods on the river during the 18th and 19th centuries.
To ensure the trow is an accurate reconstruction, plans were based on exact measurements of the remains of a Wye Trow which had been uncovered at Lydney.
The 200 year old traditional skills once used up and down the Wye to construct trows have been brought back to life at Nielsen’s boatyard at Gloucester Docks where the trow was made from Herefordshire timber.
“It’s a beautifully built boat, and it will be a very proud moment for me to be on board as it represents the county in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant,” said Lady Darnley, who has visited the trow and seen it in action during water trials at Gloucester docks.
“The naming ceremony will be particularly special as it will be the first opportunity for local people to see the trow. I hope as many people as possible will turn out to give it a rousing reception,” added Lady Darnley.
The naming ceremony, which starts at 11.15am and will last around half an hour, will be carried out by Lady Darnley and the Very Rev Michael Tavinor, Dean of Hereford.