Ardent royalists that we are, members of Martlet Kayak Club decided to celebrate the marriage of Wills & Kate by paddling the River Ouse past the site of the Battle of Lewes. This was the event at which the royalists, led by Henry III were soundly defeated by Simon de Montfort in the year 1264.

The loyal band of Martlet paddlers met at Barcombe Mills at 10.00 am resplendant in regalia suited to this joyous occasion. Boats were decked out with pennants; red, white and blue bunting; union flags and even heart-shaped pictures of the happy couple.

Some people even wore tiaras, although paddling a banana was perhaps going a bit too far!

Before setting off Sanne & Sarah had a pre-trip cup of royaltea, complete with table, table cloth, teapot and matching bone china. (plus chocolate fingers!!)

We are thinking of making this a prerequisite for all future Club trips & including the necessary equipment on the Club trip kit list. Meanwhile the BCU is currently considering introducing a 3 Star Open Canoe (Buffet Car) Award. 

Fashion Note: It is rumoured that Sanne & Sarah were rather miffed at not being invited to the actual ceremony but - undeterred - they rose to the occasion and dressed accordingly. Sanne was wearing a charming full-length black evening dress.

And Saras pink dress perfectly matched the Spring day. 

At 11.00 am the party of 18 paddlers set off downriver; Andy paddling an ex- royal canoe (or was it royalex?). Against all expectations, it was a warm, sunny day. 

Frequent stops to discuss the hot topics of the day; such as the wedding guests

The Wedding Breakfast was held in a field by Hamsey Weir.  

Having recently acquired open boats, Andy & Paula were able to really up the stakes on the picnic front; wicker basket, tarten rug, matching napkins - the lot!

The rest of us had to make do with champagne, strawberries and a cream tea.

After lunch it was a short trip down to Lewes. 

Although it did appear that one or two people may have overdone the champagne! 

We arrived in Lewes at 2.00pm to a 21 gun salute and, having shuffled the cars, quickly retired to the pub to continue the celebrations.

Many thanks to Clive E. for organising the trip; it was a great day out.