The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames was founded in 1514, when 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.
In 1780 The Company moved into its own purpose built hall in St Mary at Hill, where we can still be found today. 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.
Mrs Gina Blair was installed as the 194th Master of the Watermen’s Company on 8 July 2020.
The Watermen’s Company installed its 194th Master, Mrs Gina Blair, on Wednesday, 8th July at Watermen’s Hall. The ceremony was held partly with the Master and some Wardens physically present with the rest of the Court watching on Zoom. A celebratory small lunch observing social distancing followed. Derek Mann was installed as Senior Warden, with Alderman Sir David Wootton, Ted Gradosielski BEM and Mrs Annamarie Phelps CBE as Junior Wardens
Some helpful links –
The Company Calender
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop
Guidance relating to Watermen’s Company Meetings and Events as COVID-19 Lockdown eases
Guidance relating to Watermen’s Company Meetings and Events as COVID-19 Lockdown eases With some unlocking of the COVID-19 Lockdown by the Government, Watermen’s Hall office remains closed to visitors, although there is an intermittent staff presence. The Hall staff not furloughed continue to work mainly from home. The Hall is available for hire with or
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The Company of Watermen & Lightermen and the TSA
PRESS RELEASE V 11 June 2020 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen and the Thames Skills Academy are working together to support employers’ apprentices and trainees training during the Covid-19 crisis. With this in mind, they are calling on companies to let them know what training support and help they need for apprentices and trainees.
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