Royal Docks festival attracts thousands for water-based fun

The colourful finale to the Waterfront Festival Picture: Andrew Baker

The colourful finale to the Waterfront Festival Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Archant

More than 17,000 people enjoyed a day of watery fun on Saturday as this year’s Waterfront Festival once again proved a hit with residents.

The colourful finale to the Waterfront Festival Picture: Andrew Baker

The colourful finale to the Waterfront Festival Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Archant

Activities on and around the water at Canning Town’s Royal Victoria Dock combined with a spectacular fireworks finale and a headline performance from band Flash - A Tribute to Queen, were among the highlights.

The day’s activities, which were organised by Newham Council, included sailing, rowing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, bellboats, aquaballs, jet pack demonstrations and rides on the pleasure boat the Silver Queen, which ferried troops from Dunkirk and was part of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Thames pageant.

Strolling buccaneers headed a variety of nautical themed children’s entertainment on the beach including treasure map making, pirates, toy boats, learning to dance jigs, story-telling and dressing up. For grown ups there were guided walks around the historic docks with writer Kathy Chater. People also queued to have pictures taken with 2012 Olympic and Paralympic torches.

The landmark Siemens Crystal building opened its doors and its sustainability exhibition, display of art and tasty seaside inspired food treats proved popular. The Emirates Air Line cable car connecting the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula gave an aerial view of proceedings.


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As well as Flash – A Tribute to Queen on the main stage there were performances from the Bikini Beach Band, Trevor Francis, who has appeared on BBC’s The Voice, Jasmine Elcock, the winner of the council’s community forum Time to Shine talent contest, and an orchestra from Newham’s Every Child a Musician scheme.

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “The Royal Docks are Newham’s hidden gem and have undergone a tremendous transformation over the past few years and it is good that people are seeing the resurgence for themselves.

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“This was a fantastic day for residents to try different activities on and around the historic Royal Docks. It has showcased what a fantastic and versatile place Newham is.”

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