MAYDAY – River Thames Family Business Sinking

Colliers boat hire company, which usually operates trips from Kew Bridge to Hampton Court in the summer months, and down river to Westminster, is in financial trouble because they are not able to operate this season. They’ve launched a crowd-funding appeal to keep their family business afloat.

Colliers Launches ferries thousands of passengers during the summer months between Westminster, Kew Gardens, Richmond and Hampton Court Palace. One of their vessels, Princess Freda, was one of the flotilla of small boats which answered the call to evacuate stranded soldiers off the beaches of Dunkirk.

“Many people enjoy the nostalgia of taking a relaxing trip on this historic boat” says Dan Collier.

Image above: Collier family, Dan, John and John’s son Alex, an apprentice boatman, in the middle

The company, which has been running boats from Kew Pier since 1975, employs not only Dan and his sister and brother in law but has also provided a living for various of their children at different times. They are one of the companies which appears to fall between the cracks of government provision during the Coronavirus epidemic.

“We are now at a financial crunching point, being unable to access financial help, such as grants, insurance and loans. It is a big ask, but please support us if you can” says Dan Collier

Colliers is very much a part of the landscape at Kew Bridge. It would be a terrible shame to see them go under. “Thankfully, all our staff have been put into the furlough scheme” says Dan, but the company needs to raise a minimum of £25,000 to pay their overheads, such as licenses, tax and mooring rents.

If you would like to make a donation to keep them afloat, you can do so here.

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