The Company of
Watermen & Lightermen
of the River Thames

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 The 194th Master of the Watermen’s Company .

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 River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop 


Senior Warden Master Elect

At the Court meeting held on 7th April Senior Warden Derek Mann was appointed as Master Elect. Derek’s installation will be on 14th July.  

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His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh

“The Watermen’s Company learns with great sorrow, the passing of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Company offers its sincere condolences to Her Majesty, The Queen and the Duke’s family. The Duke had strong connections with the City Livery Companies and Guilds serving as Master of several. The Duke will be remembered by

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