Who does not remember Gloriana, the beautiful barge that carried the Queen and Royal Family at the head of an armada of 1,000 boats along the Thames in June 2012 to mark Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee? Certainly not Peter Hare who was responsible for the decorative exterior and artistic interior of this impressive boat and who described his experience at the June meeting of Pershore and District U3A.

It began with an unexpected phone call from Lord Sterling asking him to help them out in the tightest of possible timescales. The barge was built from scratch with no state funding. It was 88 feet long and large enough to accommodate 30 passengers, 3 deck crew and 18 oarspersons

Peter decided it should be a floating palace on the outside, whilst internally giving a feeling of serenity through the use of flower and bird motifs. He included many relevant symbols such as Old Father Thames, sturgeon/sea serpents and the Royal Crest.

Peter’s photographs demonstrated the painstaking processes involved with dedicated artisans and artists working with gold leaf and special paints. Unbelievably the whole project was completed in 5 months with teams working round the clock to get it finished.