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Doggetts Coat and Badge Race, River Thames, London
Watermen on duty at the end of Doggett's Coat and Badge Race on the River Thames. They are wearing the livery of the Fishmongers Company. This is believed to be the oldest rowing race in the world, the competitors being a maximum of six apprentice watermen. It has been held every year since 1715, running between London Bridge and Cadogan Pier, Chelsea, passing under a total of eleven bridges en route. The winner's prize is a traditional waterman's red coat with a silver badge, plus a lapel badge. There are also various money prizes given by the Fishmongers Company. Thomas Doggett was an actor and comedian who relied on watermen for transport -- he instigated the race in 1715, and left instructions in his will for it to continue after his death in 1721
© Mary Evans Picture Library