Thames Sailing Barge Parade                                                 17th September 2016

On 17th September 2016 there will be a very special event happening on the river Thames.

An event that will be seen by millions around the world through visual, printed and audio media and viewed by thousands on the day live and better still, it is going to be a first that has never been done before, that should not be missed.

In fact, it will be happening within a festival that is promoted by a trust which is directed through the very man who organised the Queen's Jubilee in 2012.

The trust is the Thames Festival Trust.
The event it holds is called ‘
Totally Thames’.
The duration of it, is the whole of September from the 1st-30th.
The director of it, is the pageant master of Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee celebration 2012 — Adrian Evans.
And within it, on the 17th September 2016, will be the ‘Thames Sailing Barge Parade’ (TSBP), a spectacular event that will see the most sailing barges there has been on the Thames for decades.

Twenty three confirmed barges, with a few more possible, will parade their way up the river Thames from Canary Wharf right into the Pool of London, showing off their full regalia to the waiting crowds of thousands and television audiences around the world of millions.

The importance these lighter barges had in moving cargo around the river, where the larger cargo ships could not go, will be on show in their maneuverability.

The Tower Bridge will be drawn up so that the parade can enter the Upper Pool where they will perform the required tack to turn around and head back out to the West India Docks as the flood tide starts turning.

Once moored there, the parade will continue with shoreside events in and  around our hospitality area where the general public can gain access to the barges, the crew members and even speak with you, the sponsors.

Our shoreside events will include to-scale models of the barges racing in an indoor pool as well as a press opportunity race on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London, pre-the-parade.
Here’s a preview of the models in action.

Aside from this, we will be setting every opportunity to get the maximum publicity out of the high interest that this event is going to generate.

Photo opportunities of the event will be taken all along the river of every barge. These will end up in editorials in numerous newspapers, magazines and other audio/visual media as well as their own articles.
As a sponsor, you should make the most of setting out a visual presence for the opportunities.

We encourage a sponsor to tell us who their audiences are and how they are reached through the media they use, so that we can take advantage of the opportunity to freely target them, before the event date, to come along as part of the audience and see the barges, not to mention the opportunity for profiling.

Then after the event, we follow up with what happened and how the event went, again through editorials to these same media outlets, to ensure there is a roll-on media coverage.
We do this to bolster the coverage that would organically by in the media to get the most out of this wonderful opportunity for our sponsors and for the Thames Sailing Barge Parade itself.

We want our sponsor to impart to us what they do so we can see how to truly amalgamate your story with our event. Perhaps your industry was supplied by river at one stage or you are thinking of using the waterways for some aspects of your business (a logistic that is on the rise in some areas of commerce).
You may even be connected with waterway delivery today or some such and that would be great to speak of.

In advertising terms, the publicity would run into hundreds of thousands of column space pounds for a fraction of what you will invest in funding our event.

We implore you to get in touch, regardless of your budgetary concerns, this is an event we don't want you to miss. It's a first and firsts are always very, very famous because they are historically documented, as well as easier to get into the media sphere.

You want to be a part of that, of course. Then don't hesitate to call us, email us, write to us, whatever you do get in contact with us. Now!
Here are ways to reach us, through Jonathan Fleming (organiser):
By email write to
By web form:
fill in your request form at this link
By telephone: 07818687606 or 7515335991
By snail mail: Thames Sailing Barge parade, 6 Stone Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2HB, UK

This is not an opportunity to miss. We'll cover how we can accommodate your specific requirements and in doing so, we’ll fathom-out what’s best for both parties.


Thames Sailing Barges enjoy a season of racing each other, in Barge Matches, from the beginning of May until the end of August where they get to stretch themselves and behave as they were intended and have a jolly good blow out.

To keep them seaworthy, however, is where all the hard work is done and is the aspect of these vessels that is not so glamourous and well hidden.

The maintenance and restoration of these boats are a cost most would shy away from. If that was to happen, these beautify sailing barges would be lost forever, but such has not happened so far, because of the community that commit their time, money and efforts to seeing these barges remain a feature of British heritage.

The problem is, however, no matter how much enthusiasm or dedication is given to the craftsmanship that needs to be applied on the barges, when there are very little funds, everything grinds to a halt and may become laid up.

Please look at these statistic:
2249 built in the late 1700’s through to early 1900’s:
Barges Built List
60 remaining:
Remaining Barges List
17 inactive (awaiting funding or undergoing restoration):
Inactive barges List
43 active:
Active Barges List

The data revelation, in short, where the numbers finish is of great concern to the sailing barge community and for the legacy that they should leave as part of the British Empire’s commercial success.
Britain's legacy to this age remains in only 60 barges, but that number still dwindles.
Of those remaining, 17 are inactive, this includes unrigged vessels, craft undergoing restoration or refits, vessels used for other purposes and laid up vessels. Excluded are abandoned hulks and remains.

What we are left with, are those that are active, numbering 43, twenty three of these will be at the parade and it will be the first time so many have been seen together since Operation Dynamo in May 1940 when so many were lost.

We seriously need to keep what’s left and treasure them. Please help us to achieve this, the same way that commerce did for East Lancashire Railway engine 60103, better known as, The Flying Scotsman — now restored, having had its first test run on Friday 8th January 2016 after a ten year restoration project.
Your funding for our Thames Sailing Barges is genuinely needed and will be greatly appreciated.

The support that is required cannot only come from within this very small community of Thames Sailing Barge owners, help is required from outside too. This is where, you, our sponsor, plays a huge part and has a massive impact.

The reasons to get involved for a sponsor are numerous, depending on your level of your support.
There are all sorts of reasons why you could sponsor us and some of them are listed here:

  1. One could be so that you can have corporate holidays, sailing days out, team bonding/building days and more on one or more of the barges.
  2. You are looking for a charitable cause (and in the bargaining you get masses of free publicity).
  3. You might want to get involved with the Sailing Barge Matches during the racing season.
  4. You might want to assure you have reserved charter dates for your executive meetings, much like a football match executive box. You may not need the dates, but you might be able to give your valued clients something that they will remember and favour you by.
  5. Depending on where you are and the logistics of getting to you, a barge or barges can be present at a keyside event you might want to throw.
  6. Take advantage of the continued publicity after the TSBP.
  7. Get a model build of a working barge or barges of your choice.

Call to action: Please complete the sponsor request form at:
or email us at:

Tell us exactly what you want from us, how much you are prepared to fund and we will iron out the specifics with you.


Jonathan Fleming (organiser)