07:00PM, Saturday 16 May 2015
As preparations to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta enter their final stages, the charter bearers who will form one of the centrepieces of celebrations in the Royal Borough have been unveiled.
To honour the occasion a river relay from Hurley Riverside Park, near Maidenhead, to Runnymede Pleasure Ground, near Windsor – the site at which King John sealed the historic document – is being held on Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14.
And at a launch event at Windsor Guildhall on Tuesday, the volunteer bearers who will ferry a replica of the charter down the Thames were presented to Charles Elly, the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire.
All 23 of them have been nominated for the role for their services to various charities and other good causes.
Speaking at the launch, he said: “I think it’s a marvellous idea to have linked the Magna Carta and the Thames – it’s a real link from one place to another. I’ve been reading the stories of those who are going to bring the replica and they are very moving.
“The work that these people have put in to help their communities is a very humbling experience to read.”
Among the nominees were Ila Gangotra, who runs Thames Valley Sports in Maidenhead, and her daughters Anisha Gangotra and Trishna Bharadia,.
Reacting to her selection, Ila Gangotra, who lives in Marlow with her daughters and was nominated for her work with the Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum and its various groups, said: “It’s an absolute honour and a privilege to take part in this. It’s open for all the people and I hope that everyone comes along and supports it and has fun.”
The weekend will see a flotilla of boats, including the Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana, take to the Thames, making 13 stops before reaching its final destination at Runnymede.
Visit www.magnacarta800th.com for more details about all the anniversary events.
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