On Thursday 15th June more than 100 guests joined us at historic Runnymede for a 3½ hour cruise along the Thames on board French Brothers’ ‘New Queen of The Thames’.

It was a wonderful afternoon, with plenty of chatting and laughter between the veterans who represented all three services and the Merchant Navy. For the groups of residents from Princess Marina Home, Belvedere House and Queen Alexandra Hospital Home – the eldest of whom is 99 – this was a very welcome break which enabled them to get out for a few hours.

There were many fascinating tales told, including twins Ron and Len Quested who both served in the Merchant Navy in WWII and a care home resident who used to own a boat with her husband and since becoming a widow 14 years ago had not been on water until now.

Ron and Len Quested with NFA Chief Executive James Stopford

Chelsea Pensioners leading the fun

Fred Rook even took a turn at steering the boat!