River Thames Society Annual Awards

The RTS Annual Trophy 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 latest awards, recognising activities during 2016, were made at the 2017 River Thames Society AGM, held on 8th April at the Crowne Plaza, Reading.

The Society’s Shield ("for an individual or group making the most significant contribution to the life/well-being of the river") went to Hermitage Community Moorings, Wapping. HCM is a co-operative which built, owns and operates a mooring that provides berths for historic vessels together with a visitors’ mooring and a club-house used for many educational and recreational activities.

The Durant Cup for an individual member making a similar contribution went to Jack Betteridge, a member of Upper Tideway Branch, a vice-chairman and an advocate for planning that respects the river, particularly with reference to Eel Pie Island and Twickenham Riverside.

RTS Awards 2017

Ann Wainwright of Hermitage Community Moorings receiving the RTS Shield from Lord Owen. (credit Chris Wainwright)


These awards, recognising activities during 2015, were made at the 2016 River Thames Society AGM, held on 23rd April at Glenmore House, Surbiton.

The RTS Shield was awarded to Panorama of the Thames.  John Inglis and Jill Sanders thanked the Society for this recognition and played a short film showing the information the project will provide.

The RTS Durant Dup was awarded to Gary Acres in recognition of his many years of service as Middle Thames committee member, Council member and Bondig Bank volunteer.  A separate presentation will be made.



Awards were presented at the 2015 AGM, held at Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames.

The RTS Shield was awarded to the Environment Agency Tidal Defence teams.  A representative spoke briefly about the complex operations necessary to operate the system of gates and barriers, and acknowledged the work of all staff members, who will be delighted to receive this recognition.

The RTS Durant Cup was awarded to Margery Day in recognition of her many years’ work on behalf of Teddington to Old Windsor branch and in supporting the general life and well-being of the river.  The award was received by Gillian Rix and will be presented in person at a later date.



Awards were presented at the 2014 AGM, held at the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames.

Representatives of National Trails Volunteers were presented with the RTS Shield in recognition of the achievements of this dedicated group.  The Volunteers are out in all seasons and weathers and play a vital role in keeping the Thames Path safe and accessible for all who use it.  You can find out more about National Trail Volunteers from their website.  Follow this link to hear volunteers talking about their work.

The RTS Durant Cup, which is awarded to a Society member who is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the river, was presented to Henry Butt following a nomination from his local branch.   The award was made in recognition of Henry's extensive knowledge and tireless dedication to the wellbeing of the Thames and, just as important,  the joy he takes from being beside or on the river and which he communicates so effectively to others. 


The 2012 awards were presented at the River Thames Society 2013 AGM held at Auriol Kensington Rowing Club, Hammersmith.

In recognition of the extraordinary and unique event to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and raise the profile of the Thames and its related activities, the RTS Shield was awarded to the Thames Jubilee Pageant.  Pageant-Master Adrian Evans accepted the award and spoke briefly about the organisation of the Pageant and his hopes for its legacy.

The RTS Durant Cup was awarded to John Skuse in recognition of his work in looking after all aspects of the Society's traditional cutter, Thames Guardian, over many years.  As well as taking to the water as stroke at all opportunities, John has also overseen event planning, transport, maintenance and crewing to ensure that the boat plays its part in keeping Thames traditions alive.


2011 annual awards were presented at the 2012 AGM held at River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames.

The RTS Shield was presented to Westminster Boating Base in recognition of its considerable achievement in introducing the river and water sports to young people.  Those who use the Base are largely drawn from housing estates close to the river and are often in need of absorbing and challenging activities combined with dynamic leadership.  Many of the young users of the Base return as adult volunteers and instructors. Mark Batchelor, who received the Shield, explained that the Base receives no government support so is totally dependent on fundraising to deliver its activities and is particularly pleased to be recognised in this way. 

The RTS Durant Cup was awarded to member Tony Dunford, in recognition of his stalwart service as cutter cox since 2000. The Award Panel agreed with the nomination from John Skuse and the cutter crews, who said:

"He has been in the river on at least three occasions, has ruined numerous clothes in mud and rain and endured the abuse from other crews which passes for humour on the London River.  He is never thanked for his steering - the crew who can see nothing ahead always knows best. Despite this he carries on regardless and thus is a worthy candidate for the cup."


The 2010 awards were presented at the AGM held at London Rowing Club, Putney. 

The RTS Shield was awarded to the RNLI Thames Stations in recognition of the massive improvement in river safety following their establishment in 2002.  The four stations - Gravesend, Tower, Chiswick and Teddington - are co-ordinated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency from the PLA Operations Room at the Thames Barrier.  Since opening these stations have been the busiest throughout the UK and Ireland and, for example, in 2010 Tower had over 3,000 'shouts' with 201 lives saved.

The River Thames Society was delighted to recognise the professionalism and dedication of the crews and support staff who have made such a valuable contribution to the life of the tidal river.  The RTS Shield and cerificate were presented by Vice President Michael Shefras to David Clarke, RNLI Publicity Officer and ex-serving lifeboatman.  David then spoke briefly about the daily work of the RNLI on the Thames.

The Durant Cup was awarded to RTS member, Roger Weston, in recognition of his personal contribution to the wellbeing of the Thames.  Roger has a lifelong association with the river and has served as Chairman of the West London River Group - now representing that body on the Mayor of London's Waterways Commission - and was also the first Chair of the Thames Strategy Steering Committee (Kew - Chelsea).  He has always maintained a clear vision for the Thames and has shared this sensitively and enthusiastically with his colleagues and with other agencies.  His leadership has had a major impact on the maintenance of the tideway as a navigable waterway and on the preservation and enhancement of London's riverside environment.

A Durant Cup Runner-Up award was made to RTS member Donald Davies in recognition of his work as branch Planning Officer.  Donald's careful examination of planning applications from Putney to Tilbury has helped to ensure a high standard of sympathetic riverside development.