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Passenger vessel; Skiff; Greenwich waterman's skiff

Ship models

Object connections:

Collection Ship models
ExhibitionsRoyal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames
Gallery locationMaritime London Gallery (Floor plans)

Object details:

Object ID SLR1450
Description Scale: 1:8. A model of a two-oared skiff (circa 1920) once a common sight on the River Thames. It is depicted with mast and flag ready for the annual races held off Greenwich pier. A skiff is a small open wooden boat for carrying people. It may be rowed with two oars, one on each side of the boat, or it can be sculled with one oar over the back of the boat. A waterman's trade is to carry people by boat. Until the 19th century, the easiest way to get around London was by boat. A waterman's skiff was like a taxi. You could hire one, and the waterman rowed you to the river stairs closest to where you wanted to go. As new and larger docks were built, more and more big ships used the river. The river got very busy and it became risky for people to travel in small rowing boats. All these things meant that the watermen's work changed: instead of rowing passengers in skiffs, they took lighters full of cargo up and down the river.
Date made After 1920

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. We regret that Museum enquiries have not been able to identify the copyright holder and would welcome any information that would help us update our records. Please contact the Picture Library.
Materials wood; cotton; brass; copper; paint; varnish; gilt
Measurements Overall model: 145 x 795 x 225 mm; Backboard: 53 x 6 x 190 mm
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