OneOak timber used in the building of a Trow

posted on March 26, 2012

Some OneOak timber has been used in the building of a Trow by traditional shipbuilders in Gloucester. The ship will sail in a flotilla of one thousand ships on the River Thames in June, to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s reign of sixty years.

The Pageant on the River Thames will celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, where one thousand boats will pass from Battersea Bridge to Tower Bridge on Sunday 3 June, led by Her Majesty’s barge.

Boats taking part in the pageant were selected by invitation and by an open submission process. A boat representing each county of the United Kingdom was entered. One of these was for the county of Herefordshire. A ‘Herefordshire Diamond Jubilee Fund’ was established through private sponsorship, which allowed the group to commission a ‘Trow’. The Trow was flat-bottomed barge with a shallow draught, powered by sail, drawn by horses or, more usually by gangs of men known as bow hauliers. In the 18th and 19th Centuries it was a poplar ship design for transporting goods on the Rivers Wye and Severn.  Trows were used to move many different cargoes including coal, wood, cider and wool. Only one complete Trow (a River Severn Trow) remains in existence, which can be seen at the Ironbridge Museum in Shropshire.

Herefordshire Trow

An engraved historical image of a working River Severn Trow and a model Trow at the Nelson Museum in Monmouth

The new trow is being built by T Nielsen & Co; traditional shipbuilders at Gloucester Docks.  Douglas Fir and Oak timber has been donated from several Herefordshire estates, and has now been joined by our OneOak beam.

Following a design created by maritime historian Colin Green, author of ‘Severn Traders’,  the Trow will be 11m (36’) long with a 2.75m (9’) beam.   It will be finished in Spring 2012 in time to be tried and tested and for a crew drawn from the county youth to be trained to take part in the great pageant on the Thames in June. The trow will have 8 oars and will later be fitted with its mast when it no longer needs to pass under low bridges. It is to be named The Hereford Bull in a ceremony in May.


Building the Trow at T Nielsen's yard in Gloucester

Building the Trow at T Nielsen's yard in Gloucester. Photos Andrew Wynn.

The piece of OneOak has a prominent place in the Trow, where it provides structural strength and support for the mast.

OneOak beam in the Trow

The freshly fitted OneOak beam in the Trow at T Nielsen's shipyard



Read more about the Trow project:

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Last piece of OneOak timber delivered to a maker

posted on March 21, 2012

Our last piece of OneOak timber has been delivered to a maker. The beam will be used in a new boat, a Trow, being constructed by T Nielsen shipbuilders based at Gloucester Docks.

Timbmet collect OneOak beam for Trow project

Timbmet collect OneOak beam for Trow project

The OneOak beam, measuring 4360 x 220 x 160mm, was transported free of charge from Oxfordshire to T Nielsen in Gloucester, by Timbmet Ltd. We are very grateful to Timbmet for their generous support of the OneOak project.

The Trow is being made by T Nielsen to sail in the flotilla to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the Thames Diamond Jubille Pageant on 3rd June.  We will be following the build project on this blog.


Category: OneOak project, Wood
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