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Flotilla of Dunkirk ‘little ships’ arrives at St Katharine Docks for Thames Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:03 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:03 08 September 2017

The �Dunkirk little ships� arrive at St Ktharine's-by-the-Tower for the Thames Festival. Picture: St Katherine Docks

The �Dunkirk little ships� arrive at St Ktharine's-by-the-Tower for the Thames Festival. Picture: St Katherine Docks

St Katherine Docks

A flotilla of heroic ‘little ships’ that took part in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuations in the Second World War joins classic vessels at St Katharine’s Docks today.

Heroic Massey Shaw that helped the 1940 Dunkirk evacuations in the Second World War. Picture: St Katherine DocksHeroic Massey Shaw that helped the 1940 Dunkirk evacuations in the Second World War. Picture: St Katherine Docks

They include the former London Fire Brigade fireboat Massey Shaw which joins 40 vintage sailing and motor vessels mooring at the marina next to Tower Bridge for the ninth annual display of classic boats.

The Massey Shaw was one of the vessels which helped evacuate 340,000 Allied troops trapped at Dunkirk 77 years ago.

It is moored at St Katharine’s alongsaide the Queen’s Royal Rowbarge Gloriana which led her Diamond Jubilee Thames pageantry in 2012.

The three-day Classic Boat Festival running till Sunday is one of the highlights of the month-long Totally Thames Festival, a season of events along London 42 miles of riverfront.

Another classic vessel on show is the Portwey, the only twin-screw, coal fired steam tug that remains active in Britain.

The quayside display is a step back in time, where visitors can climb aboard and look round the vintage crafts and meet the owners.

Other activities include stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing. Children’s activities include an explorer treasure quest annd pirate sword decorating, along with performances by Barnet Hill lifeboat crew’s sea shanty singers and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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