Guildford Lions Raft Race 2010

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On Saturday 3rd July last year, I organised a picnic with some friends to watch the start of the Guildford Lions Raft Race along the River Wey in Guildford at Millmead.

The Guildford Lions was formed in 1967 and has about 40 – 50 members. All are committed to providing a service to the community by fund raising and giving a helping hand. Guildford Lions is part of Lions Clubs International (LCI) the largest service club organisation in the world with almost 1.5 million members belonging to nearly 42,500 Lions Clubs in over 178 countries and geographical locations.

The Guildford Lions Club at the event

Lushele joined me dressed in her traditional Hindu clothes, as well as Sal, and her fiancée Mustfa, who had recently arrived in England from Egypt.

I made lots of nice food, and I bought some snacks and drink. Lushele, Sal and Mustfa also brought along some food.

We walked from my flat along the river to Millmead.

We crossed a bridge over the river and we saw the raft racers getting ready, as well as a raft made to look like a steam train being set up.

The raft racers getting ready for the race

A very impressive raft made to look like a steam train

There is a small island on the river over the bridge in front of Millmead Lock. We walked across the island and past a few more rafts; there was a Santa’s Sleigh and Santas Grotto.

Santa's sleigh awaiting Santa

Santa's Grotto being guarded

The theme of the raft race that year was of Christmas.

A big crowd had started to form, we had arrived there just in time to find a good spot to sit and watch the race and have our picnic.

A crowd forming at the start of the race awaiting the rafts to set off down the river

We laid down our picnic blankets on the grass, and sat on the end of the island to enjoy our picnic and drinks.

Me and Lushele at our picnic

Enjoying some drinks

Lushele enjoying her food and drink

Sal with Mustfa

A barge boat with pirates on-board sailed past our island.

A barge with pirates on-board

The island is normally home to lots of ducks, swans, geese and pigeons, but the crowds had made them all disappear.

We all had a great view of the river and the start of the race.

The race started and the rafts made their voyage down the river towards the finish-line, which was at the Rowbarge pub. We didn't walk along the river to follow the rafts along their race, there was many rafts to see setting off from the start line.

The first of the rafters to set off from the start line

Some of them had water guns, water bombs, eggs, and flour to use on the other rafters and on the crowd.

The boy on the raft on the far right is holding a water bomb

A boy throwing something

It was fun seeing all of the different Christmas themed rafts, which included Santa’s, reindeer, elves, baby Jesus with Mary, and Angels.

Santa's Workshop being rowed down the river

Santa with a water gun


Looks like they got caught up in that tree

Bathing and rafting at the same time

The Three Wise Men, and Angel and a lamb

An Xmas tree with presents and a log-fire

Angel's from heaven

The steam train was the most impressive raft to see on the river that day. The train had real steam coming out of its funnel and the wheels went round.

The very impressive steam train raft

The crowds soon disappeared once the last of the rafts left the start of the race.

The last ones at the end of the race

I've got a sinking feeling about this one

The ducks, swans, geese and pigeons soon then re-appeared to return back to their small island.

A duck returning to its island on the river

The pigeons return for their courting

We finished off our food and drinks, and it was an enjoyable picnic watching the raft race together.

I finished off the day by having a few drinks outside the White House pub by the river with Lushele.

Me enjoying a drink at the White House

Lushele at the White House

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