Doggett’s 300th anniversary

Doggett’s Coat and Badge race takes place today Saturday 1 August at 11.30am.

It is a long time since the race was on a Saturday but it used to always be on 1 August and this year is the 300th anniversary of the first on 1 August 1715.

Dublin-born actor Thomas Doggett had just retired when he founded the race to celebrate the accession of the House of Hanover. George I had come to the throne the year before.

It is the oldest continuously run single sculling race in the world.

The young scullers can be seen on the river between London Bridge and Cadogan Pier in Chelsea. The finish will be about noon. The course was chosen by Thomas Doggett to be between The Swan inn at London Bridge and The Swan at Chelsea.

The winner receives a red watermen’s coat with a silver badge depicting the Hanover horse.

Last year the race was watched by Prince Philip.

A good place to visit today is Doggett’s Coat & Badge pub on the south end of Blackfriars Bridge.

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