Swan Upping returns to River Thames

Swan Upping returns to River Thames

David Barber with a swan

The Swan Uppers arrive at Benson Lock

First published in News

SWAN Upping, a medieval tradition dating back to the 12th century, returned to Oxfordshire yesterday, after it was cancelled last year due to wet weather flooding the River Thames.

The five-day census entered Goring Lock at 5pm and finished at Abingdon Bridge at 5.30pm, after the team called at Benson Lock and Culham Lock.

Swans on the river were rounded up, weighed, measured and checked for signs of injury or disease and taken for treatment if needed.

The census back to when the Crown claimed ownership of all unmarked swans, which were considered a delicacy.

When a brood of cygnets are spotted, a cry of “All up!” is given, to signal that the boats should get into position.

The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber, 63, said: “This is my 21st year and it’s the hottest one I have ever done.”

About 1,200 adult swans were seen – similar to two years ago – but the number of cygnets appeared to have dropped.

Comments (1)

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12:34am Sun 21 Jul 13

WallingfordDave says...

So they travelled from Goring Lock to Abingdon Bridge in 30 minutes? What did they use, a helicopter?
So they travelled from Goring Lock to Abingdon Bridge in 30 minutes? What did they use, a helicopter? WallingfordDave
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