1928 - 1978.
The John Lewis Partnership has been a great part of village life for a good many years. Where at week-ends and during holiday periods, partners would come and enjoy the village and its life and sports of Cricket, Hockey, Swimming and Boating on the Thames.
For the villagers it was the Partnership annual Rag Regatta. Where the various departments would make up teams to make up fun competitive races. I remember one particular race which was a favourite with the spectators, where a maiden was tied to the railing on top of the bridge and the men would paddle their canoes from the start line to the bridge, climb up the structure and untie the maiden and help her down and into the canoe and paddle back to the start/finish line. Mind you there was a lot of tipped canoes and falling in the water. Never the less it was all great fun.
After 50 years, the company and partners had grown so large that the event was moved to Knebworth. Where I am told that the event attracts some 10,000 partners.
Many thanks to Judy Faraday for supplying me with the photograph from the Partnership archives.