It was a pleasure to meet with the UKs largest Trust Port, the Port of London Authority (PLA) last week at the extraordinary Woods Quay and share build plans for the new Thames National Flagship to promote British Businesses
National Maritime has long supported this privately funded flagship project , which is to be built and furnished from the four corners of the UK and showcase the very best in cutting-edge design, engineering and green technology.
Thank you to Jonson Cox CBE PLA Chairman and Robin Mortimer Chief Executive of the PLA and current Chair of Maritime UK, we appreciated your advice and input for the next stages of our development and launch.
Over many centuries (until the late 1990s), as a nation proud of our mastery of shipbuilding, a London cruise on the ‘Royal Barge’ or state boat had always been incorporated into the State Visit itinerary for Royalty and the Government. The river Thames was a safe and convenient way to travel between the historic sites of power, Hampton Court, Chelsea, Westminster, Tower Hill and Greenwich.
This tradition is still reflected during a 21st century State Visit cruise, the monarch would be accompanied by her Royal Bargemaster and some of her 24 Royal Watermen (one of the most ancient royal appointments) who still wear the traditional watermen’s costume, with a scarlet skirted coat, bearing the royal cipher on a front panel creating a truly dramatic imagery from the riverbank.
State visit cruises in recent times have continued due to excellent security, no travel disruption, & iconic views of landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. The last vessel to carry out this duty for over 40 years was the ‘Royal Nore’ owned by the Port of London Authority & operated by Woods’ Silver Fleet.
Therefore the plans by Woods Silver Fleet directors Kate WoodsTom Woods and William Woods to build a 50m inland waterway vessel, featuring contemporary exterior and interior design by a designer of international standing, which would be pictured throughout the World with international dignitaries, is truly inspirational.