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Thames Watermen

Thames Watermen
History of London Watermen
Plying their river trade
Doggett's coat and badge race
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Thames Watermen

View full size imageWatermen. © NMM
Throughout London’s history, the Thames has been the highway that enabled its citizens to travel easily from place to place along the river and to carry goods where they were needed.

For centuries, Thames watermen provided a vital service in transporting passengers to their places of work and leisure, or simply carrying them across to the other riverbank.

London Bridge, first built by the Romans, was the only bridge spanning the Thames in London until Westminster Bridge was built in 1750. The watermen did all they could to ensure that their boats remained the only practical means of getting about.

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Find out more
StoriesMany hands: Trades of the Port of London, 1850-1980
Find out what it was like to work in the Port of London
StoriesBridging the Thames
The fascinating stories behind London Bridge and Tower Bridge
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
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