Photos taken on a Thames walk the day before the Jubilee Flotilla.
“A vast range of vessels also plied their trades upon the water. Barges and barks sailed beside chalk-boats; they were joined by small work boats, by pikers, rush-boats, oyster-boats and ferry boats, by whelk-boats and tide boats….
There were boatmen and chalkmen, eelmen and ballies, gallymen or garthmen, ferriers and lightermen, hookers and mariners, petermen and palingmen, searchers and shipwrights, shoutmen and piledrivers, trinkers and water-baliffs and watermen. …
It became the river of magnificence, used as a golden highway by princes and diplomats. Barges were ‘freshly furnished with banners and streamers of silk’while other boats were ‘richly beated with the arms and badges of their craft’; there were may covered with awnings of silk and silken tapestry, while around them the wherries took their course heavily weighted with merchants or priests or courtiers”
From London, the biography by Peter Ackroyd. Chapter; London’s Rivers.