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Sunset Cruise and Dinner, River Thames

My thank you event for the Court and Company had to involve water, so what better way than a sunset cruise on the Thames! I wanted a memorable expression of thanks to members of the Court, Past Masters, Fellow Masters, Consorts and friends.

We welcommed our guests with a glass of bubbles when the boat arrived at Bankside Pier. We then chatted for 45 minutes while the boat cruised down river past Tower Bridge before turning round and heading up stream.
After a welcome to our guests I introduced the boat. The Hurlingham was built in 1915 in that well-known shipbuilding city of Oxford and was a sister ship to the ill-fated Marchioness. It was on standby for Dunkirk and served as a river ambulance in the war. I introduced the staff and crew, finishing with the Captain Kieran who was a fifth generation Waterman and Lighterman.
After Grace, ably given by Eileen, the meal had a North African theme, and everything seemed to include chickpeas. We all made the most of the river view, relaxing and watching the city glide past.
After the desserts and toasts the Master said thank you a lot, ably supported by Past Master Mark Lane doubling up as MC and Beadle.
We took advantage of the warm calm evening to watch the evening lights of the cities of Westminster and London slowly pass by.
There was even a rendering of William Wordsworth’s poem “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

It was a magical evening with a super dinner.

Thank you to everyone for sharing such a lovely occasion.

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