Sunday, May 27, 2007

Profit ratios and the Tudor Pull

It's a bank holiday weekend here in London, which means two things. Firstly - and by definition - its a 3 day weekend, as Monday is a public holiday. Secondly - and too predictably - the British weather has responded with cloudy skies and relentless rain.

So its a day inside with the books of B821, Financial Strategy, learning about profit ratios.

However half way through Unit 2 something caught my eye out the window, several old rowing boats, like the one in the photos above, heading downstream, with rowers dressed in some sort of costume.

Outside about a dozen similar boats were braving the elements and heading towards Westminster. A quick Google revealed it to be "The Tudor Pull" - organised by the Thames Traditional Rowing Association which, as the LPA's site puts it:

The Tudor Pull is a ceremonial event for Thames Watermen's Cutters which is organised by the Thames Traditional Rowing Association (TTRA) in May each year.

The cutters escort the Thames Royal Shallop 'Jubilant' rowed by members of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen from Hampton Court Palace to the Tower of London to deliver a 'Stela' to the Governor of the Tower for safekeeping. The 'Stela' is a piece of medieval water pipe made from a hollowed tree trunk which stands on a base of timber from the old Richmond Lock and bears the coat of arms of the Waterman's Company.

The cutters are rigged with full ceremonial canopies and flags and are rowed with four oars by fully-liveried crews. In keeping with the traditions of the Watermen's Cutters, a passenger must be carried.

I watched the fleet going by and returned to my numbers. Despite the rain I think they were having a much better afternoon than me!


Turinas said...

I learned to row in a clinker built tub not unlike these ones in Pitney. They row like a pig, especially as the cox was a 230 pound old guy with a mad look in his eye.

The pic made me homesick for Putney. God I miss the Duke's Head

Katinka said...

I think someone should do a thesis topic on why it invariably rains on public holidays. (We had the same thing here for the Victoria Day weekend)

Sorry to hear you're stuck inside doing profit ratios. If it makes you feel any better, it was a beautiful sunny day and I spent most of it in my classroom getting splashed from head to foot in shades of grey and black paint. :P

JP said...

Turinas: they did look very heavy and hard work - must be very good exercise!

I wonder if in Tudor times they would more likely to travel with the tide than against? Also would you pay or tip more if they rowed against the current?

btw - the duke's head must be a licence to print money!

Kat: getting splashed from head to foot in paint sounds much more fun than analysing balance sheets!