Historic river pageant places all to play for

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Here’s your chance to be on the River Thames as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant in June.

The first rounds of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Berwickshire Quiz will take place simultaneously at 7.30pm on Friday, March 9, in eight locations - Allanton, Abbey St Bathans, Coldingham, Coldstream, Duns, Gordon, Greenlaw and Westruther.

The quiz, devised by Bruce Robertson and his team, will have a Royal flavour. Look out for posters giving details of the quiz in your area.

Each location will have its own arrangements for refreshments, prizes and a raffle with all funds raised going jointly to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Berwickshire Fund and the Margaret Kerr Unit at BGH.

The winners from each location will come together for a grand final at Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth, on Friday, March 23, at 7.30pm.

The prize for the winners of the final will be to nominate two people to have an opportunity of a lifetime to be aboard the Berwickshire Lord Lieutenant’s launch, The Biscoe Kid, which is part of the historic section of the river pageant on Sunday, June 3.

It can be two members of the winning team or they can nominate two others they regard as most deserving.

Boats from all over the Commonwealth are converging on the Thames for the largest floating pageant seen in the country since the 16th century, all led by the The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with other members of the Royal family, on board the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell.

Berwickshire has two boats taking part in the 1000 strong flotilla on the Thames - Eyemouth’s harbour vessel ‘Biscoe Kid’ and Eyemouth Rowing Club’s rowing skiff ‘Unity’.

They will be transported down to London by road and once launched will join the pageant on its ten mile journey down the Thames. The flotilla itself will be over seven miles long and will pass by 25 miles of the Thames river bank.

Adrian Evans, Pageant master and director of the Thames Festival, said: “The breadth and high quality of applicants has made the selection process for participating boats very challenging. We have a wonderful collection of vessels, a wide spectrum of every type of craft from humble kayaks to magnificent tall ships, with rowed shallops, oyster smacks, steamers, cutters, cruisers and barges.”