City Sheriffs row Thames to help ex-prisoners get fresh start

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City Sheriffs Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe hope to have left people in 'oar'
City Sheriffs Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe hope to have left people in 'oar'

City Sheriffs Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe hope to have left people in ‘oar’ after rowing the Thames and raising funds for a charity that helps ex-prisoners get a new start in life.

Starting from Westminster Boating Base down river towards HMS President at 1.15pm on 18 September, the pair guided the City Corporation’s Cutter, The Lady Gillet, along the famous waterway in aid of The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund.

But they did not do so alone, and were joined by a crew comprising former Sheriff Fiona Adler and Neil’s wife Emma, who acted as wingman and consort respectively.

“Serious crime has, undeniably, tragic consequences for the victims and their families and friends, but also for those who committed the offences and are sent to prison, sometimes, for more years than they have already lived,” said Mr Hailes, who is tonight co-hosting the annual Sheriffs Ball. 

“The Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund, which was set up over 200 years ago, provides financial assistance to ex-prisoners on probation in Greater London and their families by offering small and practical grants to help them get their lives back on track.

“We are proud to support the charity’s sterling work by taking part in this rowing challenge, which also serves to celebrate the maritime links and the history of the City and its iconic river.”

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City Sheriffs Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe hope to have left people in ‘oar’

To mark the occasion and effort of the City Sheriffs, the Royal Navy deployed an Archer Class warship, which was joined by HMS President’s Cutter, Arthur Tisdall VC; Jim Holt, the Company of Watermen and Lightermens’ passenger barge; an RNLI boat; and the Port Health Authority vessel, Londinium III, which acted as a safety boat during the event.

To encourage the rowers as they made their way downstream, Tower Bridge was raised as the four approached the iconic bridge.