On Saturday the 6th of July, I was fortunate enough to attend Henley’s annual Alumni Regatta Day at the Greenlands campus.
First and foremost, the weather did not disappoint with the sun glistening across Henley for most of the day – a rare sight in the UK! The weather ensured crowds of alumni flocked to Greenland’s, and it was much to my surprise how many attended with gazebos and picnic baskets covering the picturesque gardens. Me and my friends managed to find space overlooking the rivers and quickly opened a bottle of Prosecco and several nibbles to celebrate the near completion of our Masters in a rather suitable setting. As current students, we were rather less prepared than the seasoned alumni’s spread of gazebos and tents, but still managed a relatively impressive picnic!
Henley ensured we were entertained throughout the day with a host of entertainment; in addition to watching the many, and some rather interesting, boats pass by on the river, we were also able to enjoy live music, with a jazz band being a particular hit. While, despite feeling a little too old to join in, there was also an array of children activities from a bouncy castle to an extremely popular rodeo bull.
For much of the afternoon, we stayed close to the front of Greenlands, next to the music, and more importantly next to the food and Pimms table! We ensured we made the most of the food on offer, indulging in burgers from the BBQ, and quickly following this with strawberries and cream. To complete the British theme of food and drink we enjoyed a glass of Pimms.
To finish a wonderful day and explore a closer view of the regatta, we boarded the prestigious New Orleans’s, renowned for being the largest passenger vessel on the upper Thames; this was my first time at the event and I quickly realised the scale, with huge crowds set along the riverfront of Henley and several camera crews at the ready! The boat provided a spectacular view of the action and sights which will live long in the memory.
Upon returning to the campus, and later experiencing the buzz within Henley Town centre, myself and friends were grateful to spend another day at Greenland’s, and I am sure we will return to the event next year!
By Alex Finch