Swan uppers

25.07.17 John Kendall

Swan Upping 2017

As the invitation to observe Swan Upping this year told Coachmakers, “The tradition of Swan Upping has its roots in the 15th century when the ownership of mute swans on open water was put into law. They are now owned by The Crown, The Worshipful Company of Vintners and The Worshipful Company of Dyers. During the third week of July, the colourful spectacle of Swan Upping takes place on the Thames. Now, it is less about ownership and more about health of the birds and conservation. Nevertheless, the tradition of the swan markers catching and ringing this year’s cygnets continues to this day. The centuries-old majestic scarlet uniforms are still worn and all the ancient traditions are observed. It is a sight to be seen.”

On Tuesday 18th July, a party of Coachmakers joined the traditional Thames Steam Launch Streatley to observe the 2017 Swan Upping, following the swan markers wearing their traditional scarlet uniforms, aboard their traditional skiffs, as they caught and ringed this year’s cygnets on the Thames. The Master captured the event on video and you can view it here.

Thanks To Pamela and David Smith for additional photography.