From the back of my head

The committee members of SSBR usually get advance warning that the latest edition of Mainsheet is on its way.  So when that light thud came as the post hit the doormat this morning I guessed it had arrived.

Charles Traill always plays his cards close to his chest and will never tell us, beyond perhaps a small hint about one item, what the contents will be.   It has to be a surprise.   So there is always much interest in what we will find when we open the publication.

As agreed at a committee meeting in January, Charles had included a resumé of our deliberations about the future, and with it was a photograph of the committee.

“Gosh”, I thought, “my hair does look nice, all those lovely long curls”.   I hate having my photograph taken, but this was good, this was acceptable.   For dear Charles had stood behind me to take his picture of the committee and it was a photo of the back of my head!

What is more important though, and much more worth saying, is that theMainsheet Cover current Mainsheet lives up to its reputation as a first class magazine.

Those of you who follow The Barge Blog and its Facebook page see interesting and often chatty news about barges, barge people and the barge world, together with great photos, old and new.   But you could get so much more if you joined the Society for Sailing Barge Research.   For an amazing annual subscription of £20 you not only help preserve documents, photographs and artifacts on Thames sailing barges and promote research into the vessels, you also receive two copies of Mainsheet each year and an annual Topsail, our acclaimed in depth study of the history of sailing barges.   And you also receive discounts on other publications commissioned by the Society.   Here’s a link to the  SSBR Membership Form .   Do join us now.

Gloriana

The Royal Barge Gloriana being towed upriver on the Thames today.

Royal barge Gloriana being towed up river 14 04 11 (2)

Drifting at Wapping

Found this excellent photograph on the National Maritime Museum’s Flickr account.   It is of a Thames sailing barge drifting at Wapping, circa 1884.

Sailing barge     Maritime

News of the new Blue Mermaid

Yachting Monthly has an interesting piece about the new Blue Mermaid Blue Mermaid's blueprintwhich Sea-Change Sailing Trust is planning to build.   She will be based on the blueprint of the steel-hulled barge blown up after hitting a German mine off the Spitway Channel in World War II.   The new barge will be used to train sailing crew and the plan is that she will carry cargo again.

Read the Yachting Monthly story here.

Cygnet at Brightlingsea

A very nice short film from Simon North of Cygnet at Brightlingsea.   There are  some interesting split screens and so on.

Click here to watch.

Help needed with Cambria’s painting

News from Dave Brooks about Cambria.

“Cambria is now in the dry dock at Oare Creek.    If anybody has any spare time to devote to painting the hull it would be appreciated as we only have a short time in there.

“Tomorrow Ryan may be pressure washing the bottom, so painting activity could be restricted to the topsides for a while.   Paint and implements are on board the barge.”

 

The fools’ hippo!

Here’s a good April Fool’s Day post  -  A hippo swimming in the Thames.

Click here to read the story and see the video.

 

Any pictures of Arrow?

Dick Palmer has contacted us to ask if anybody knows what happened to sb Arrow.   The splendid  Sailing Barge Compendium, produced for the Society by John White in 2012, shows that Arrow became a barge yacht and was eventually buried at Titchmarsh Marina, Walton Backwaters.

Dick tells us that he sailed on her in 1961/62, and he asks if there are any pictures of Arrow anywhere.

Dinah at St Kat’s

Tim Kent has taken these pictures of Dinah at St Katherine’s Dock. He says:-

“We’ve been joined at St Kat’s by the very cute miniature barge Dinah.”

 with Paul and Jasmine Armour-Marshall

Ironsides – out of dry dock and sailing in 2014 season

At last week’s SSBR Committee meeting we talked about sb Ironsides and heard that Toby Lester, owner of Ironsides, hoped to have her sailing again this summer, with more restoration work after that.   A lot of new steel has been put into the barge.

Today the Ironsides Facebook page has noted that she is about to come out of dry dock and has published a series of photos of the restoration.   It says:-

“Ironsides  -  So far this has been a very busy week as we are due to leave the dry dock next week, so lots of anti-foul and painting has been done inside and out, but hopefully she is now looking smart.    Next job the rigging.  “

Here are the facts about Ironsides  -  Staysail Class;  Bob:- Swallowtail with ‘tower’ emblem on blue ground.   Official No 112710, 78 ton;  Built of Dutch iron at West Thurrock in 1900 by Clarke  & Stanfield;  85 x 20.3 x 6.4.    Owned by A.P.C.M. and sold to L.R.T.C. in 1928;  she was converted to a motor barge in 1938 and traded to northern France.    She was sold to Alan Reekie in 1968;   re-rigged at Brentford and became a successful racing and charter barge.    Afterwards owned by Mark Tower, she was based at Maldon / St Katherine’s.   From 2003 she has been at Faversham for refitting.   Now owned by Toby Lester and Linda Hoy who plan to have her sailing this year after an extensive refurbishment to her hull, deck and topsides.

We wish Toby and Ironsides all the best for the sailing season.

Photos courtesy of sb Ironsides.

  

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