Coachlines - March 2024

29.03.24 Liveryman Simon Gurney

Swan Upping on the Thames

A date for your diary: Tuesday 17th July 2024. Come and join us for a historic tradition on the River Thames. Guests are welcome. More the merrier.

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 the 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.

The Coachmakers has secured a launch from Hobbs’ boatyard at Henley on Thames and will travel downstream to support our fellow Livery Companies, the Vintners and Dyers and to observe the Uppers in their traditional skiffs carrying out the task that has been done for centuries.

On board, we will be treated to tea and coffee and a buffet lunch.

Arrival: 10.00am for 10.30 am departure
Return: 14.30
Dress code: Smart casual

Cost: £120 per person (the same price as seven years ago)

Bookings will open in late May.

If you have any questions, please contact Simon Gurney at