New approaches to funding maritime heritage

The Maritime Heritage Trust has just announced a new on-line event. This webinar is being run jointly by the Maritime Heritage Trust and National Historic Ships. It will look at how new approaches to funding are meeting challenges and achieving success for both large and small maritime heritage projects.

The webinar will bring together a range of experience on funding including:

– Rose Ravetz, experienced global sailor and production manager for Wind, Tide, Oar a film by Huw Wahl, currently in production, which explores “the absorbed attention and artistry of engineless sailing, and the lives of those few exceptional seafarers prepared to go to sea whilst relying on the natural elements alone” and was the subject of a very successful Crowdfunder as well as other grant support;

– Felicity Lees, Operations Manager at Pioneer Sailing Trust, will describe how the Trust is taking forward its Development funding of £61,300 recently awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help the Trust progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date .

Over five years a partnership between Pioneer Sailing Trust and Vanguard Restoration Foundation will restore two iconic historic vessels, reach and attain maximum benefit for community audiences and deliver a sustainable business model for their long term operation.

The project aims to improve wellbeing, health and mental health within the community, equip trainees with new skills, increase capacity to restore and maintain heritage and other vessels, and build community engagement with national heritage.

Panellists for the webinar will also include John Megoran, Chairman of the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust who is overseeing fund-raising for a major rebuild of the ship and Hannah Cunliffe, Director, National Historic Ships UK

The Webinar is on Wednesday 1st February from 19.30 to 21.30.

Free tickets can be obtained by registering at Eventbrite

A brand new Website in a new Reign

Today we have celebrated the King’s birthday by launching our brand new website.

We dedicate the site to the memory of the Late John White, the Society’s Secretary, who died suddenly quite recently and built the first website for us many years ago. It is a tribute to his work that we have been able to transfer much of the factual information he wrote to the new site.

Do have a look at the website. There is much information on it already and there will be more soon. Here’s the website’s address for future reference:-

Edith May tells us the tale of the Medway Match

The Barge Blog

Tiller and Wheel have this lovely video on YouTube of the 2022 Medway Match.

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Edith May tells us the tale of the Medway Match

Tiller and Wheel have this lovely video on YouTube of the 2022 Medway Match.

John White, RIP

We are very sorry to have to announce the sad and sudden death of our Hon Secretary, John White.

John white receives trophy from Elizabeth Wood, SSBR AGM 2013

John has been unable to attend meetings or undertake physical activity following an earlier heart attack, but has continued to support the Society working from home and dealing with queries from members and others.

He is, of course, the compiler and author of the acclaimed “Sailing Barge Compendium” and of its coming successor, “Directory of Sailing Barges”, which is currently being edited before printing. This mammoth task saw him identifying the history of over 2,000 Thames sailing barges for the Compendium, and over 4,000 for the Directory, In addition he played a large part in the setting up of our first Archive unit and the cataloguing of items deposited in it, and took part in our attendance at various sailing barge and other maritime events.

John will be much missed by all of us in the Society. We send our deepest sympathy to his wife, Jenny, and the family.

Red Sails over the Medway exhibition now at Sun Pier House, Chatham

Red Sails over the MEdway 2ns post

Film clip about the Dunkirk Little Ships

This lovely little clip is part of a longer film about a lonely man, (played by Richard Harris), who helps a local girl, (played by Jenny Agutter), rescue a wounded goose from hunters. “The Snowgoose” by Paul Gallico was first published as a story in 1940. It was filmed as a TV movie and won a Golden Globe Award, with Jenny Agutter winning an Emmy,,

Towards the end of the film, as shown in this clip, the Maldon Dunkirk fleet of Little Ships is featured and of course there are lots of barges.

Up goes the storage container – despite the heat!

Richard said the ‘Quick-Build’ storage container would be assembled yesterday, but I hadn’t taken notice of the size and was expecting something smaller.   In fact, it is 2 metres by 4 metres, and the working party assembling it must have been glad to have the JCB’s help.

The container which will eventually house our heavier equipment, (folding tables, chairs, tents, display boards, and so on), is now in place at the site where SSBR’s new Archive building will be at Fambridge Yacht Haven.

Committee members Richard Walsh, Don Wright and Mark Allinson struggled excessive heat yesterday at North Fambridge to start this first phase of the Archive move.   The container was assembled with the help of the hearty marina crew:  Ellie, Thomas, Ian and Oran. Thanks also to Yard Manger Paul Wiggins.

Meanwhile it’s all happening at the company building the Archive unit and plans are being made for delivery in early September.

These pictures, courtesy of Mark Allinson and Richard Walsh, show the container going from flatpack to finished job.

On Thames Match day 2022 – here’s how it all started

Thanks to Peter Carter for making us aware of this excellent historic document – the report of the meeting in August 1863 which started the barge matches.

Meeting to found Thames Match 1863

Important notice re membership subscription renewals

If you are an SSBR member you have probably just received the new edition of Mainsheet, or if, like me, you live in an area where the post comes once a week if you are lucky, you may still be waiting for it.

I’m reliably informed that the current Mainsheet has some first class articles, and also included in the package is the membership renewal form for the year 2022.

Many members are now using electronic payments so the form includes the SSBR bank account details, but unfortunately there are errors in the numbers shown.,

The form has a seven digit account number but it should be eight numbers.   The correct SSBR account number is: –


And the sort code is wrong too – that should be


Our Membership Secretary, Mark Allinson, sends his apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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