In 1514 the earliest Act of Parliament for regulating watermen, wherrymen and bargemen received Royal Assent from King Henry VIII.
Under a further Act of 1555 the Company introduced apprenticeships for those wishing to learn the skills of the Watermen. In 1700 the Lightermen (carriers of goods/cargo) joined the Watermen’s Company.
The Company is a working guild and is very actively involved with the life of the River and those who work on it.
The Company is governed by a Court of Assistants led by the Master and four Wardens, who are elected annually by the Court., The Master for this year is Mr Simon McCarthy, shown above with three of his Wardens. Senior Warden Iain Reid, Junior Wardens Mrs Gina Blair and Mr Tony Maynard. Junior Warden Sean Collins was unable to be present at the Installation Court on 12th July 2017.
George Saunders passed away on 2nd September 2017 age 79 years having spent his entire working life involved in activities on the River Thames. George left school at Erith age 15 years to become an apprentice Waterman and Lighterman to master the art of navigating tugs, barges and passenger craft along the Thames from Gravesend … read more
BML Chartwork Examination at Watermen’s Hall – 30 August 2017 A hundred percent pass rate for our apprentices and trainees today. Pictured with the PLA’s Derek Mann, our Training Officer Alex Hickman, the MCA’s Adam Stratford and the Clerk Colin Middlemiss are the successful candidates: James Archer, Lucas Britton, Rive Britton, Charlie Eldridge, George Gilbert, … read more