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"You’ve heard of Henley and the University Boat Race... but what do you know about Doggett’s?"


Since 1715, the Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge has been passionately rowed by apprentice river workers on the Thames. It is believed to be the oldest continually competed sporting event in the world. Despite its fascinating history, little of Doggett’s is documented and it has long been overshadowed by the much more famous Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.

This year, Totally Thames will delve into a tradition passed down through generations of Thames watermen with a series of outdoor exhibitions.

Using recorded oral histories, photographic portraits by Hydar Dewachi, and 100 years of archive material made publicly accessible for the first time, The World’s Oldest Boat Race brings to life this hidden history at the heart of London. It encompasses stories of family pride and family rivalry, and a passion that kept Doggett’s race alive through two World Wars, a schism between ‘gentlemen amateur’ and ‘professional’ rowers, the decline of the docks and a fast-changing capital.

This project is delivered in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives, The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’ and The Company of Watermen and Lightermen.

Exhibitions:

  • Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE, Sat 8 – Mon 24 Sep
  • Riverside Walkway, Queens Walk by Millennium Bridge, Sat 18 Aug – Sun 30 Sep
  • Find us aboard the MBNA Thames Clippers boat, Tornado Clipper, Tue 28 Aug – Sun 30 Sep

Supported by

Event times

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Sat 8 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Sun 9 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Mon 10 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Tue 11 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Wed 12 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Thu 13 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Fri 14 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World’s Oldest Boat Race

    Sat 15 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Sun 16 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Mon 17 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Tue 18 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Wed 19 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Thu 20 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Fri 21 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Sat 22 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Sun 23 Sep
    12am - 12am

  • Thames Festival Trust present

    The World's Oldest Boat Race

    Mon 24 Sep
    12am - 11:45pm