Portmeirion gets up steam for royal celebrations

Portmeirion is one of several companies sponsoring an historic narrowboat that will play an official role in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant next month.

Portmeirion gets up steam for royal celebrations

The Stoke-on-Trent ceramics manufacturer will have its name on the President, the world’s only surviving steam-powered narrowboat and part built in Staffordshire, which has been chosen to represent Staffordshire in the 1,000-boat flotilla on the Thames on June 3.

The vessel will shortly be making the 336-mile journey to London as it literally flies the Staffordshire flag. The journey is being funded exclusively by sponsorship from various local companies including Portmeirion Group.

The 71ft President, which is owned by the Black Country Living Museum, will be expertly crewed by volunteers from the Friends of President, who maintain and operate the boat on the museum’s behalf. Young people from Staffordshire will also be given the opportunity to join the crew for a few days.

The journey to London is expected to take around three weeks, the boat travelling at a majestic three miles per hour and arriving in London at the end of May. President will eventually join the pageant as part of a seven-mile long procession of Dunkirk little ships, historic vessels, steamboats and tugs. At its centre will be a royal barge decorated in red and gold, carrying the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Said Portmeirion managing director Michael Haynes: “We’re delighted to be associated with such a great concept that not only beautifully represents our county but that also has a key role in what is expected to be one of the truly special events in the jubilee celebrations.”

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