Not to be missed is the event coming soon organized by the Blackwater Sailing Barge Match Association.
Called the Sailing Barge Show, it features a new talk by Jim Lawrence, one of the last surviving sailing barge skippers from the days of trade. There will also be a short film of the 2015 match, films from the Association’s archive and a model boat exhibition.
What promises to be a very interesting evening will take place on Saturday 6th February, at 7.30 pm, at Maldon Town Hall. Tickets are £3 each, and there will be refreshments and a quiz in the interval.
Here’s a link to the poster about the event. BSBMA Poster
A bit of a treat this afternoon, Saturday 2 January.
On the Quest TV channel the programme “Salvage Squad” is on for most of the day.
And at 4 pm it will be showing an episode about Lee Hurst and his team working on a Thames Sailing Barge. This is a repeat, previously shown in 2002.
At almost 90 feet long, the 1906 wooden sb Ena is the largest challenge the squad has tackled, and the barge has to be re-decked in a month.
This will give real-life barge restorers the chance to watch, laugh, and perhaps criticize – what a treat!
QUEST TV CHANNEL – SATURDAY 2 JANUARY
4 pm to 5 pm SALVAGE SQUAD
If you have Freeview, then Quest is Channel Number 37.
We visited The Barge Tearooms at Maldon on Sunday as part of our family Christmas.
We hadn’t realized a charity rowing race would be taking place on the river in aid of RNLI, which meant there were large crowds both on Hythe Quay and all along the Promenade. It was a pretty miserable windy, wet day, and we were glad to get on board sb Hydrogen and into the tearooms. There were six of us; four scurried below into the warm, but two hardy souls stayed on deck. The cream tea was excellent, and so, apparently, was the cake. They even provide blankets and umbrellas for those who stay outside! Well worth a visit.
Because of the repairs which are taking place to the Quay there were only the three Topsail Charters barges present: sb Hydrogen, sb Thistle and sb Reminder. At Cooks Yard, sb George Smeed is now looking very smart;
still without leeboards, but two freshly painted specimens were lying nearby in the yard so could be destined for her. And sb Dawn was also there, wrapped up in her winter cover.
While we were there sb Kitty came back from a sausage-and-mash cruise and passed us on her way to Fullbridge where she is based at present.
I’m very sorry there have been no posts on The Barge Blog since August. September, October and most of November are my busiest months in “real life” and I just don’t have the time to deal with it, although I do manage the occasional post to the Society’s Facebook page.
Members of the Society should now have received the autumn edition of our excellent magazine Mainsheet – and if you aren’t a member and don’t have Mainsheet then you’re really missing something. Mainsheet contained the news that Hugh Perks has stood down from the Committee of SSBR. We are all very sad that he has come to this decision, although we understand his reasons. Hugh is a founder member of the Society, has held office and has brought his vast knowledge of maritime subjects to our deliberations and indeed to our publications.
Thankfully, Hugh has said that he intends to continue to bombard us with letters, notes, corrections, etc, to keep the Committee on its toes. And as good as his word, he has sent us this splendid photograph of sb Tollesbury. He says:- “Tollesbury is now based at Standard Quay, Faversham, as her former berth at Barking is no longer available. She is looking very smart and well painted up. Her mast and topmast need attention, but the sprit is newly painted. The foliage in pots on the decks and hatches surely qualifies her for the “Valdora Trophy”. Old timers may remember Valdora the ‘flowerpot’ barge at Great Yarmouth in the early 1950s.
“Also at Standard Quay is sb Decima, sporting somewhat virulent green paint in places, and sb Repertor is berthed opposite. “
If you’re coming to the Southend Barge Match on Sunday and watching from the Pier, do come and see us in the Royal Pavilion. SSBR has an exhibition there, and Graham, Tricia and Don would love to see you.
Pudge is going to the Ipswich Maritime Festival and you can visit her there on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th August. She will be moored at Orwell Quay, Ipswich, and will be open to the public from 10.30 to 18.00 each day. Entry on board is free, although donations to the Thames Sailing Barge Trust, which owns and maintains Pudge, will be very welcome and will go towards her upkeep.
If you’re in the Ipswich area this weekend, do pay Pudge a visit and find out about the story of her involvement at Dunkirk.
Here’s the link to the Maritime Festival’s website, which has all the details.
Tomorrow sees the Doggett’s Coat & Badge Race rowed on the Thames in London. The Race starts at 11.30am at London Bridge and finishes at Cadogan Pier, Chelsea. The prize-giving will be at Fishmongers’ Hall at approximately 1.15pm. And this year, it’s an important one – the 300th Race.
Here’s a report on the 100th which took place in 1815.
And here’s a report in 1915, which says that as “one of the minor hardships of the war” the Race will not take place.
We’ve added to our list of videos the lovely film made by Chriss Hallam
of the 2015 Medway Barge Match. He was on board sb Cambria, so there are some good shots of her deck, rigging, and so on, including a nice one of Skipper Ian at the wheel. We like the music too!
Here’s a picture I like very much. It appeared today in the Echo, the local paper circulating in South Essex. It shows Southend-on-Sea Pier Head in 1905, packed with trippers in Edwardian dress. Probably many of them will have disembarked from ships bringing them down from London or from other places. That still happens sometimes even now when cruise ships put in to the Pier.
The structure shown changed over the years, and sadly the buildings at the Pier Head disappeared in fires until all that was left was the relatively new RNLI station and shop, (fortunately untouched), a small cafe and some public loos located in a sort of container. Even the train station with its crenellated platform cover went, and for years much of the Pier Head was just an empty space. Now there is the very modern Royal Pavilion as well.
As the Echo says “She’s the grand old lady of Southend. She’s withstood the elements, raging fires and dwindling pots of cash to repair her and has always risen phoenix-like out of the ashes to continue thrilling new generations”. Now Historic England, the successor to English Heritage, has named Southend Pier as one of England’s Seven Seaside Wonders.
And what’s that just appearing in the left-hand side of the picture? If I’m not mistaken that has to be a Thames sailing barge.
Picture courtesy of Echo Newpapers