This film is part of Free

Thames Cruise

Join the happy crew of the Sea Ray as they meander their way along the River Thames in this colourful film from 1951

Amateur film 1951 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This film shows the Stoddard family aboard the cabin-cruiser 'Sea Ray', where only the younger children are seen wearing life-jackets. Sailing gently along the Thames, they pass locks and riverside towns in Berkshire & Oxfordshire. After berthing near Henley, the crew eventually arrives at Sonning Lock. Here the children help the lock-keeper operate the huge gates. After a paddle in the river there is an outbreak of face-pulling before an elegant glide past the camera.

The Stoddard family lived in various places around the South East before settling in Chichester in West Sussex. Dr Alan Stoddard, who practised as an osteopath, and his family spent many holidays on boats from Birdham and Itchenor in Chichester Harbour. Their first boat was called ‘Fairbright’ and it was berthed at Birdham Pool.