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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Friday, 2 August 2013

Swan upping

The week prior to me doing this section of the Thames path was Swan upping time, this is when they do the annual swan count on certain stretches of the Thames. I avoided walking that week because of the crowds. This is a tradition that dates back to the 12th cent. when the Crown claimed ownership of all the swans. The Queen's swan uppers wear a scarlet uniform and fly the royal flag.

Swan Upping

Nowadays ownership is shared between the Queen, the Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful Company of Dyers who, for some reason, were granted rights in the 15th cent. In the ceremony cygnets are weighed, health checked and then ringed with ID numbers. As swans are no longer a major food source for the Monarchy this exercise is now one of conservation.


(photographs from google images)


As I walked along the same stretch of river the following week I couldn't believe the number of swans.









If you want to follow my walk along the Thames Path, it is all on my other blog here


 

15 comments:

  1. Every time they do swan upping I miss it. Really bugs me, still maybe next year.

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  2. I had no idea swans were good to eat. I'm glad to learn it's only for conservation purposes these days that they count them. I never heard of swan upping before! You have taught me so many things already. :-)

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  3. Interesting post. I didn't realize swans were so important. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I'm always pleased when I read how importantly we take them. It does my heart good.

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  5. Great story. It's so proper. We have a handful of swans that live in a lake nearby and the park rangers check them but in dirty tshirts and shorts. I don't think anyone even pays attention. I do know that our swans were a gift from the Queen back in 1957.

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  6. Lovely reflections along the Thames ~ Happy Weekend to you ^_^

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  7. What beautiful reflections!! I do love the swans!! Glad to know they're no longer a food source for the monarchy!! Yes, does my heart good, too! Enjoy your weekend!!

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  8. I've always loved swans --they looks so elegant in the water. Such beautiful reflections in the Thanmes River!

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  9. they sure are pretty, there. :)

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  10. I have read that the swans belong to the queen. Wow, there are really a lot of them ! Beautiful !

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  11. Thanks for sharing this custom opf the Thame... I bet you had a great walk that day ; the path of the Themes is mangificent.

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  12. Fascinating, and beautiful photos of the swans on the river.

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  13. You know I love swans...this was interesting and love the photos :).

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  14. Great to know that, they are taken care of.

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