What is Thames Alive?

Thames Alive is the catalyst and an umbrella organisation harnessing and promoting the River Thames. There are hundreds of public and private bodies, societies and clubs involved with the river, but their objectives relate to different aspects and activities on and by the river, or to specific geographical areas. Synergy for the river as a whole is lost by this fragmentation. Thames Alive is the catalyst for releasing it.

At the heart of the project is the Thames Alive logo. Any organisation that believes in the river or has an active interest in its well-being is encouraged to display the Thames Alive logo on their letterhead, publications, posters, banners, advertisements and websites. In this way the Thames will be the first river in the world to acquire its own, unifying, visual identity.

Those using the logo can then have a link to this website, which can eventually become the hub for everything to do with the river - business and commerce, leisure, sport, art, history and culture. In this way it will help to both promote theses specific activities and the River Thames as a whole.

Typical organisations include those concerned with commercial and maritime trade, passenger service operators, yacht, rowing and fishing clubs, landscape and natural environment bodies, boat builders and tour operators, sporting events, museums and riverside icons, such as HM Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and the Cutty Sark.

Thames Alive is apolitical and does not seek to hinder the objectives or activities of any of these organisations or events; rather it exists to help and support their objectives. Team Thames Alive will continue to drive this initiative with a programme of distinctive events designed to reflect the breadth of London’s cultural diversity.

Achievements so far

The seeds for Thames Alive were sown in 2005 when its members came together to organise the hugely successful Emirates Thames Nelson Flotilla which on 16 September 2005 recreated Lord Nelson’s 1806 funeral procession from Greenwich to Westminster.

Subsequently, working with Historic Royal Places Thames Alive proposed and arranged The Tudor Pageant in 2009 and Henry’s Honeymoon in 2010.

Team Thames Alive members are also responsible for The Lord Mayor’s Show Flotilla, which in 2011 turned the clock back over 100 years to 1856, the last time the Lord Mayor of London travelled by boat to the Palace of Westminster to swear allegiance to the Crown.

Thames Alive was the first organisation to promote the river for HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was directly involved in the organisation of the manpowered section of The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012.

Thames Alive also campaigned successfully for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to feature the river and on 27 July 2012 the Torch embarked at Hampton Court Palace and moved downriver to The Tower.

Thames Alive produced another exciting River Pageant in June 2015 as a part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the sealing of the Magna Carta. Magna Carta 800th The River Relay took place on and beside the River Thames between Hurley and Runnymede and was arranged with the support of and on behalf of the Borough of Runnymede and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

In 2018 Thames Alive once again worked closely with Historic Royal Palaces and produced the modern day version of the final journey of Anne Boleyn to HM Tower of London.

Since the launch of HM Queen’s Row Barge ‘Gloriana’ in 2012 Thames Alive played a major role in the planning and execution of all the events the Royal Barge attended until 2019 when Malcolm Knight retired from the role as Events Manager for the barge.

Combined, these initiatives demonstrate the river’s significant potential for attracting visitors, investment opportunities and media attention, which benefits the aims and objectives of all those associated with it.


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Mayflower Flag
Magna Carta
Diamond Jubilee Pageant
Olympic Torch Relay

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Thames Alive is the one-stop-shop for any organisation wishing to arrange a distinctive event on the River Thames. Meet the team »


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Thames Alive organises special events on the Thames and supports existing events.
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