A GROUP of Ross-shire rowers are making their way to London to take part in a mass flotilla on the Thames as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The five rowers and coxswain from Ullapool in Wester Ross will be in a St Ayles skiff, named Ulla, which will sail the 10 miles down the Thames at a speed of four knots, one of 1,000 boats forming the Diamond Jubilee Boat Pageant on Sunday (June 3).
Coxswain Topher Dawson, a professional boat builder for 25 years, said: "It’s going to be great. We’re really looking forward to it.
"We’re going to be on the left hand side of the river where Her Majesty will be taking the salute. Hopefully we will be fairly easy to spot for Ross-shire people watching it on TV - we’ve painted the oar blades with Scottish Saltires! The boat colours are white with a dark green top plank."
The rowers are Sue Evans, Fiona MacDonald, Kathleen Mackay and Lisa Urquhart, with Topher’s wife Jane as a spare rower in case anybody needs a break during the sail.
Each lieutenancy throughout Britain was invited to nominate a boat to represent their area and Janet Bowen, the Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, invited the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club to apply to take part. Their application was successful.
The boat, which Topher was closely involved in buidling, is being driven to and from London by Dingwall butcher and businessman Fraser Hutcheson.