River Thames Society Annual Awards

The RTS Annual Shield is awarded to the individual or group of individuals, organisation or corporate body which in the opinion of the Society has made the most significant contribution to the well-being of the River Thames.  Since 1994 the Society has been pleased to recognise a very wide range of inspirational work which has benefitted the river, including environmental projects, conservation of the heritage of the river, educational programmes and the improvement of access to the river for people with disabilities.

Recommendations for this award are invited from any individual, company or organisation, whether or not they are directly connected with the river.   The type of achievement the Society wishes to recognise might include those that add to the beauty of the river such as new architecture or bankside developments; commercial developments which increase river usage; or projects which enable people of all ages to learn more about the river and its history thereby ensuring its future stewardship.

In addition, the Durant Cup is awarded annually to the River Thames Society member who has made the most significant individual contribution to the life and ethos of the River Thames.

Nominations should be received by the Administrator no later than 31st January each year.  Following a Selection Panel meeting, the winner will be notified in advance and a presentation will be made at the Society’s AGM during April.

If you wish to make a nomination or would like further details, please contact the Administrator.


The RTS Shield, in recognition of the individual or group making the most significant contribution to the life and well-being of the river, was awarded to Twickenham Rowing Club. Founded in 1860 and at one time the preserve only of gentlemen, the club is now open and forward-looking with a membership of around 500, with much activity taking place on the river from premises on Eel Pie Island. There is a vigorous women’s section that has had more success recently at Henley than the men, and, as British Rowing’s start centre for West London, the club helps introduce many youngsters to the river.

The Durant Cup, for an individual member making a similar contribution, went to Elizabeth Wood, who acts as an excellent advocate for the Thames, with an exceptional knowledge of the history of working boats. Elizabeth is a former chair of the Society for Sailing Barge Research, serves on its committee and, with her late husband David, wrote The Last Berth of the Sailorman about these special vessels that were once so familiar on the Thames. She has documented commercial carrying on the upper Tideway, particularly in the Brentford area, and represents RTS on a stakeholder group considering plans for Twickenham Riverside, where she has been a resident for the last 20 years. The main Thames Heritage Trust Award, for volunteer

Elizabeth Wood received the Durant Cup from RTS President, Lord Owen

Elizabeth Wood received the Durant Cup from RTS President, Lord Owen