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 Company Calender 
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop 


Questionnaire on Continuing Professional Development

“The Port of London Authority, Company of Watermen & Lightermen and the Thames Skills Academy are working together to develop a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme to improve safety on the tidal Thames for today and the future. Given the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, the PLA is looking to introduce

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River Thames Luncheon Club – October cancelled

With London moving to Tier 2 for Covid, the October River Thames Luncheon Club has been cancelled. We hope to be able to hold future ones as soon as London is back to Tier 1.  

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The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, Watermen's Hall, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF

© 2020 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen