The Mayor's Thames Festival. Photo by Eva Piscova.

Shipowners’ Club supports Thames Barge Parade as part of Totally Thames festival

The Shipowners’ Club, the leading mutual P&I insurer in the smaller and specialist vessel sector, is delighted to announce that it is supporting the ‘Thames Sailing Barge Parade’ as part of the annual Totally Thames festival.

The Thames Sailing Barge Parade is set to be a spectacular event which will see historic Thames Sailing Barges set off along the Thames to eventually moor at West India Dock on the afternoon of 17 September. On Sunday 18 September they will form a pop-up museum where the barges will be open to the public to explore and learn more about their rich history and the role they once performed on the Thames.

Over the weekend the Shipowners’ Club will be present at a shore-side area in West India Docks where the public will have the opportunity to meet the barge owners, crew members and historians who will bring the event to life.

The Club has a long history with these barges. After the Club’s formation in 1855, some of the earliest entered vessels were Thames Sailing Barges. The Club insured ‘Cabby’ which was launched in 1928 and was the very last wooden Thames Sailing Barge to be built. Cabby holds the longest continuous entry at the Club of 73 years, from 1930 to 2003. We are proud to support the parade in its aim to raise funds for the remaining barges’ maintenance and restoration.

Simon Swallow, Chief Executive of The Shipowners’ Club, commented: “Having recently celebrated the Club’s 160th anniversary, we are proud to support the historic sailing barges in what will be a spectacular parade to raise funds for their ongoing maintenance and repair.

“We started life as a Club in 1855 with 221 ships and have since grown to insure 6,500 general barges and in total over 32,000 small and specialist vessels across the globe. It is our heritage, our expertise and our mutual ethos that makes us passionate supporters of the maritime industry. We hope to use our voice to build greater awareness of these wonderful vessels, while also educating people about the importance of our role in protecting Members and providing support through times of difficulty.”