Doggett’s Day

Harry Phelps, Bargemaster to the Fishmongers’ Company and, consequently, the Doggett’s umpire, calls the competitors onto the start for the ‘Wager’ of 1930.

25 July 2017

A reminder from Tim Koch.

Today, Tuesday, 25 July, is the 303rd Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race, starting at London Bridge at 11.30am. The weather forecast is for good conditions. My race preview and some suggested viewing spots for those who are free and in Central London are here.

A race report will follow on Wednesday, but here are a few other Doggett’s related items.

The new “MV Thomas Doggett” on the Thames. Picture: thamesriverservices.co.uk

The £2.5 million MV Thomas Doggett was launched on 14 July by the Lord Mayor of London, Andrew Parmley, ‘to cope with the burgeoning demand for river trips’ and ‘named in memory of the founder of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager’. Completed in The Netherlands last year, it has been built for sightseeing and can carry up to 528 passengers across two decks. The vessel will operate as part of the Thames River Services fleet calling at Westminster, St. Katharine’s and Greenwich Piers.

No coat, but a badge for the Thomas Doggett. Picture: @viscountcruises
The Lord Mayor of London and the Doggett’s commemorative plaque. Picture: @LondonPortAuth
Ding Dong. Picture: @LondonPortAuth

One of the few surviving decent local newspapers, The Henley Standard, recently posed a question that I did not know the answer to:

WHO has raced the most times at Henley Royal Regatta? Sir Steve Redgrave perhaps, or Sir Matthew Pinsent? No, the answer is not one of those multiple Olympic and world champions. It’s Chris Drury, from Remenham. From 1967 to 1996, he raced 85 times, winning 55 times and collecting the Thames Cup twice.

Chris Drury pictured in 2015 in his Coat and Badge. Picture: Radley College News.

The Standard article is well worth reading and goes into the detail of Chris’s remarkable and long-lived rowing career – and also includes his winning the Doggett’s in 1975, apprenticed to his Waterman father.

Not directly connected to the Doggett’s, but this great picture of the movable flood defence, the Thames Barrier, when closed (raised) is well worth including. A closure happens when a combination of high tides forecast in the North Sea and high river flows at the tidal limit near Teddington indicate that water levels would be higher than 4.87 metres/16 feet in Central London.

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