The Thames Venturer will be moored at Walton on Thames again this year for the National Heritage Day. Please note that the event is being held in a new location, which is Cowey Sale.
The Thames Venturer will be there between 12 and 4pm, so come on board and have a look around. Free entry.
Find out about our therapeutic cruises, educational programs, including Eco-Venturers, School on the River and volunteering.
The Thames Venturer was built in 1908 in Lekkerkirk, Holland and originally powered by sail. She is 26m long, with a 5m beam and a 1.2m draft. Originally she probably carried cargo in the Netherlands, however we are not sure as her ship’s papers were lost during World War 2.
Due to some evidence of structural modifications made to her hull, it is thought that she was probably one of 2,000 vessels commandeered during WW2 for Operation Sea Lion, which was Germany’s plan to invade the UK.
Her original name was De Tyd Zal’t Leeren, (“Time Will Tell”). In 1957 her name was changed to Vereenigining III (“Society III”) then in 1971 it changed to Corry II and by 1988 it changed to Gerja, in 1990 it changed to Richmond Venturer and finally in 2013 to Thames Venturer.
In 1988 she was brought to the UK where Alan Borough, a Thames philanthropist, purchased the vessel and sold her to The River Thames Boat Project for £1.00.
In early 1990, BBC Television’s “Challenge Anneka” programme was approached for help to convert the former cargo boat into a community boat. The programme-makers agreed, and the Trustees of the Boat Project appointed a design team composed of Derek Plummer (Architect), Simon Harris (Marine Engineer) and Miranda Jaggers (RTBP Project Manager).
The team had only five months in which to design the conversion and fit out the boat. It had to include a large multi-purpose saloon, sleeping accommodation and disabled access to enable the widest sections of the community to make use of the boat. Major structural steel work had to be completed before filming could start, so the original steel cargo hatches were replaced by the new upper deck, the hatch combings were raised for added head room, fresh water tanks and holding tanks were fitted, and the main companionway and handrails were built.
In October 1990 the “Challenge” itself started – three days of filming during which the saloon and galley were fitted out, the lift installed, the hull and topsides painted and finally Anneka Rice chose the new name for the boat – Richmond Venturer.
In January 2013, the name was changed to “Thames Venturer”.
Click here for location details and details about the Walton Heritage Day.