Category Archives: sb Lady of the Lea

Barge Exhibition at Ware

Richard Walsh, SSBR Vice Chairman, writes:-

An exhibition entitled “From Ware to the Sea – The History of Sailing Barges”

Lady of the Lea taking part in the 2010 Thames Barge Match

Lady of the Lea taking part in the 2010 Thames Barge Match

opens at Ware Museum (SG12 9AL) on 6th May for 9 weeks.    I have pulled this together with the help of SSBR colleagues and others, in my spare time, when not organising this year’s Mark Boyle Memorial Thames Sailing Barge Match on 13th July, finishing at Erith for the first time in 117 years!

The exhibition conveys a brief history of the genre; details spritsail barges built in Ware; looks illustratively at ownership, crews, destinations and cargoes; the Henry Dodd Barge Match history; the anatomy of a barge; a 1:24 scale model of SB Kathleen with her history time-line in words and pictures; barge construction and sail making with the tools of both these skills on display; and the model of SB Lady of the Lea from the London Canal Museum.

Ware Museum is an independent museum run by volunteers and supported by Ware Town Council, East Herts District Council and the Ware Society.          Entry is free but a donation of £2.00 is suggested.

Ware Museum,   The Priory Lodge,   89 High Street,   Ware,   Hertfordshire,   SG12 9AL.

Opening times:-       Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday     from 11.00am to 4.00pm.

                                   Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays                  from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Tel:   01920 487848        www.waremuseum.org.uk        Registered Charity No. 295169

Swale Match – closely fought and exciting

The general opinion seems to be that this year’s Swale Match,

Swale Barge Match fleet 2012

held last Saturday, was the best race of the season.   And it had a “newcomer” in that Niagara took part, less than a week after she returned to the active barge fleet.

Hugh Perks sent us this very welcome Match report:-

“The Match started in light airs east, soon getting up SE and just up to Force 6 for the run home.

Cabby made the fastest start, 20 seconds after the gun.  There were some thrilling finishes. 

Mirosa and Marjorie taking it right down to the wire

In the bowsprit class Mirosa beat Marjorie by the tip of her bowsprit, (half a second between them).  3rd was Lady of the Lea, (the only other bowsprit barge), which incurred a 5 hour penalty for starting 15 minutes early with the staysail barges, and was banned from entering public houses for the next two years. 

In the Staysail Class Niagara and Repertor were neck and neck at the finish, with Repertor one second ahead.  After a protest on the matter of something earlier in the match, Repertor was given a 5 minute time penalty, giving Niagara the victory.   Decima was 3rd, getting the Percy Wildish Cup which was fittingly presented by “Beefy” Wildish’s son.

Repertor and Niagara fighting for the line

Restricted Staysails went to Cabby, (in spite of also incurring a time penalty).  There was a close finish for 2nd place between Phoenician and Orinoco, (27 seconds), but it was given to Orinoco as Phoenician had failed to go round one of the marks.   3rd was Greta and 4th Pudge.

The fastest smack was Alberta, but on handicap went to Emeline.

Around 70 vessels took part in the match.”

(Photos by Dave Brooks)

 

Edith May makes a good Passage

The summer barge matches are under way and Ed Gransden tells me a bit about the Passage Match, as viewed from Edith May.

Edith May was officially first over the start line as Lady of the Lea and Ardwina went over seconds before the gun.   Edith May took the lead down the Thames and held it, going well throughout the day to be first barge into Harwich Harbour.   Even though she had to do a dog leg as she passed a buoy the wrong side, she still managed to win by a comfortable margin.    Repertor and Ardwina followed with Lady of the Lea bringing up the rear.

My picture depicts the barges trying to gauge the start.

(Words and picture by Dave Brooks)

 

BBC2 programme is Wednesday, not Tuesday – Sorry

Ed Gransden has kindly pointed out that your Editor is totally confused about the days, (put it down to the bank holiday last week which made everything different), and that the “Our Food” programme is actually on Wednesday at 8.00pm on BBC2.

I’ve checked the schedules myself now, and confirm that it will be Wednesday that we will see Lady of the Lea and Edith May.   Apparently it will be Giles Coren presenting from on board Lady of the Lea on the Medway.

So NOT Tuesday, but Wednesday. 

Two ladies to star on BBC2 next Tuesday

Edith May Trading Company has let us know that she will be starring in a television programme next week, together with Lady of the Lea.

The programme is on BBC2 on Tuesday 17 April, at 8.00pm, and is called “Our Food”.   It’s a series, and this particular edition features Kent, and will tell how Thames sailing barges used to take fruit to London.   It was filmed aboard Lady of the Lea, with what is described as “a special guest appearance from Edith May”.  Can’t wait to see them both.

Here’s Edith May about to  go under the Orwell Bridge to the Ipswich Parade of Sail 2011, and proudly flying all her winner’s pennants.  (photo – Dave Brooks)

And this is Lady of the Lea finishing, (last we are afraid, but she is little), in the 2010 Thames Match.  (photo – Tricia Gurnett) 

 

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