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magnates of the Royal Yacht Squadron or of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club are apt
to allude in somewhat disparaging terms to Thames yachting,
but there is no doubt that the Royal Thames and the Royal London Clubs have
exercised a great deal of influence over yachting in English waters. Thames
sailing is peculiar, and it requires a skilful pilot to grapple with the curious
difficulties of sands and tide which are to be met with on the voyage from
Gravesend round the Mouse. Those who have seen the Lower Hope or Sea Reach in
bad weather, with a gale of wind blowing and the tides running-against it, will
not be slow to admit that, especially on board one of the smaller craft, the
Thames yachtsman wants skill and pluck as much as his brother who sails the open
waters of the southern coasts. The principal London yacht clubs are the Royal
Thames, which has a club-house in Albemarle-street. Station, Thames;
headquarters, club-house. Entrance: yacht owners, £15 15a., non-owners, £21.
owners, £5 5s. ; non-owners, £7 7s. The Royal London; station, Thames;
head-quarters, 22, Regent-street. Entrance fee, £10 10s.; subscription, £6
6s. The New Thames; station, Thames; headquarters, Caledonian Hotel, Adelphi.
Entrance fee, £5 5s.; subscription, £3 3s. The Junior Thames; station and
head-quarters, Greenhithe. Entrance fee £1 1s.; subscription, £1 1s. The
Corinthian; station and headquarters, Erith. Entrance fee £1 1s.;
subscription, £1 1s. The Nore Yacht Club; Station and club-house, Gravesend.
Entrance fee, £2 2s. ; subscription, £2 2s. Among the features of the London
yachting season are the races from Southend to Harwich and vice versa and the Royal Harwich may also be classed among Thames
yacht clubs. The head-quarters are naturally at Harwich. Entrance fee, £1 1s.;
subscription £1 1s. The burgees of the above clubs are as follows: Royal
Thames, blue and white cross with crown; Royal London, blue with City arms and
crown; New Thames, dark blue with phoenix; Junior Thames, white with blue cross;
Corinthian, blue with wreath; Nore, blue with cross and anchor; Royal Harwich,
blue lion rampant. The matches of the larger clubs take place in May or June,
and if a stranger wishes to see Thames yachting at its best, he should endeavour
to obtain a ticket for the club steamer accompanying one of the races for
cutters, or schooners and yawls. Tickets for these steamers can only be obtained
through members of the respective clubs, but, a reference to the advertising
columns of the newspapers will generally discover one or more boats chartered
on these occasions for the accommodation of the general public.
Zoological Gardens. These gardens, which contain the largest and by far the best-arranged collection of wild beasts and birds in the world, are situated at the northern end of the Regentís Park, and may be approached by omnibus from the York and Albany, at the Gloucester Gate Bridge over the Regentís Canal, or by railway to the St. Johnís Wood-road Station, from which the gardens are distant about a mile; cab fare from Charing-cross, 1s. 6d. ; from the Bank of England, 2s. The special points of attraction are the new houses for the greater carnivora, the elephant-houses, the snake-room, the monkey-houses, and the seal-pond; but the gardens are full of objects of interest, and a long summer day can be very pleasantly spent in them, more especially as the presence of a good restaurant renders it unnecessary for the visitor to leave the gardens for refreshment. A band plays on Saturdays during the season. The charge for admission is 1s., except on Mondays, when it is reduced one-half. On Sundays the gardens are only open to Fellows of the Zoological Society, by whom the establishment is kept up, and to holders of tickets from them. NEAREST Railway Station, Portland-road; Omnibus Routes, Albany-street and Albert-road; Cab Rank, At north exit.