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It's Swan Upping 2015

posted 23 July 2015

( with thanks to Nick Read)



Large crowds lined the riverbank, Cookham bridge,  and Ferry pub on Tuesday as the annual swan upping took place with the Queen's swan master, Vinters and Dyers.

David Barber of DB Marine, the chief swan upper, oversaw the operation asskiffs manned by 2 oarsman and helmsman each set off to count and measure this year's swans along the Thames from Sunbury to Abingdon. 

The 3 groups of official swan counters - Vintners in white, Dyers in blue and the Queen's in red, rounded up each family group of swans, weighed them, checked them for injuries (one near the bridge had fishing wire wrapped around it's wings) and tagged them.

The tradition dates back to the 13th century and in recent years the efforts of the Swan uppers has helped put paid to lead weights on the Thames which has had a noticeable effect on swan numbers.

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