A bottle filled with water taken from the source of the Thames will journey the length of the river to the sea during this year’s Thames Festival.
Ramblers, rowers, swimmers, kayakers, watersport-ers, sailors and all sorts of river craft, including a Gondola and a Duck Tour boat, will carry the bottle all 215 miles of the Thames.
Walkers will begin the Source to Sea Relay, starting at Thames Head and filling the bottle as soon as enough of the river appears. Swimmers take the bottle baton at Cricklade, and from thereon it’s afloat on various types of boat.
The bottle will be treated with ceremonial reverence, and kept in the care of Lock Keepers overnight along the way. It’ll arrive at Tower Bridge on Sunday 15 September, the final day of the festival, and be held aboard the Queen’s barge, Gloriana. It will then sail out to sea onboard the Dunkirk Little Ship that once carried General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill.
The well-travelled water will eventually pass to the care of the Museum of Water, a quirky collection of bottled waters with interesting stories behind them.
The Source to Sea Relay underlines Thames Festival’s new focus – celebrating the river itself – involving users of the Thames and those deeply connected with it, from Gloucestershire to the capital.
The Mayor’s Thames Festival runs 6-15 September 2013.
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