London Youth Rowing (LYR) is the main charity supported by the Boat Race. This year LYR was also delighted to be chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the2012 Lord Mayor’s Appeal, entitled Fit for the Future.
A special perk attached to this honour was that we were able to take part in a flotilla down the Thames on the morning of the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday 12 November.
The highlight of the event was when Tower Bridge was raised to mark the moment when the colourful assortment of over 30 different rowing craft, led by the two boats crewed by LYR, passed underneath.
The new Lord Mayor, David Wootton, was a keen rower himself, and so decided to reinstate this long-forgotten tradition. As well as the two LYR “invasion boats” (which were used in the film of Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe), the flotilla included many traditional cutters, crewed by Liverymen dressed in an array of fine costumes. The boats set off from Westminster Boat Basin through the mild and misty light of the early morning. We escorted the Lord Mayor down to the HMS President naval base just beyond Tower Bridge, where he was greeted ashore with a brass band and a ceremonial tot of rum.
All the rowers from the flotilla had enjoyed a taste of historic pageantry as well as a unique, and highly enjoyable, experience.