Dunkirk ‘little ships’ head for the quays of St Katharine’s Classic Boat Festival
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 August 2019
Copyright Tim Kavanagh
One of the main attractions at this year’s Classic Boat Festival at St Katharine Docks will be some of the veteran “little boats” that took part in the wartime Dunkirk evacuations nearly 80 years ago.
The veterans return next month to join 40 classic vessels where enthusiasts can meet the owners and even climb aboard.
The most famous veteran was the fire brigade's Massey Shaw fireboat which often makes an appearance at the annual festival.
It was part of the 1940 naval operations which rescued 336,000 British and Allied troops from the Dunkirk beaches who were trapped by German forces, then went on to help tackle the Blitz when the docks were set ablaze in enemy air raids.
The little ships are joined by the Lady Daphne, one of Britain's last wooden barges built in 1923, which runs river tours including Tower Bridge being specially raised.
The festival weekend runs from September 6 to 8, 11am-6pm, as part of the Totally Thames month-long celebrations and also has attractions like stand-up paddleboarding, craft workshops and treasure hunts for children.
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