Thames Cruising 1963

Whilst looking for some photographs in the family archive, otherwise known as the collection of old shoe boxes under the bed in the spare room, I came across a series of black & white photographs of a boating holiday with my parents on a Thames hire cruiser in summer 1963. This was my first exposure to the joys of river motor boating.

I can't recall much of the trip, after all it was 45 years ago, but I can recall I enjoyed steering the boat. After steering rowing eights and fours at Llandaff Rowing Club, I remember finding that the wooden cruiser wasn't too difficult.

Steve's father Sam, Steve and Muriel III

We hired the boat from the Kingston area. The wooden cabin cruiser had two cabins and a clumsy folding roof to the centre cockpit. It is interesting to note from the photographs that the hirer was a member of the THCA (Thames Hire Cruiser Association). The association still exists; it appears to be associated with the British Marine Federation. The boat looks a bit primitive compared to modern hire cruisers and the two gas bottles on the stern deck look a bit exposed.

Henley on Thames, with the brewery chimney in smoke.

We managed to get as far upstream as Henley, which was an obvious aim for a family with rowing interests. Henley was also where my father had spent some time in the 1950's receiving his management education (Greenlands Administrative Staff College now Henley Management College).

Thames Lock, with Steve and his mother Rose onboard.

Happy memories!
Steve Parkin