We’ve already posted about the Film Premiere on Saturday 7th March at Maldon Town Hall. What film? The premiere of Simon North’s film of the Restoration of Centaur. Scroll down the page to see the poster for the performance giving all details of the Premiere which is in aid of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust.
Now Simon has produced three trailers for the film show, and, having seen them, each of them is a beautiful piece of art in its own right. Here are the three trailers, the first introducing the film:
the second when the Lottery grant was awarded:
and the third showing Tim Goldsack, the Master Shipwright, at work with tar and horse manure:
Now go along to Maldon Town Hall on 7th March and see the whole thing – Enjoy!
Off on the Ferry to Gravesend today for the Cambria Trust Annual General Meeting, held at the Port of London Authority headquarters at London River House. The Cambria Trust, of course, owns and maintains the sailing barge Cambria, renowned as the last UK registered vessel to trade under sail alone. A wooden Thames sailing barge, she still has no engine and is completely dependent on the wind.
The AGM was well attended, and it was good to see a number of people who had not met since last year’s meeting. Chairman, Bruce Richardson, reported on a busy year with charters by Rotary International District 1120 and the Sea-Change Sailing Trust, both using the barge for sail training. Cambria had taken part in several of the annual barge matches, doing well, and had been at the Classic Boat Festival in St Katharine’s Dock in September, where on several days she had welcomed 1,000 visitors.
A highlight of the day was the presentation to the Trust of a splendid framed picture of Cambria taking part in the Thames Match of 1936. The picture was a gift to the Trust from Tony and Sandy Farnham, and in handing it over Tony said that he hoped the picture would be installed on board the barge. Our picture shows Tony Farnham, right, presenting the picture to Bruce Richardson.
Picture courtesy of Dave Brooks
We were very sorry indeed to learn of the death of SSBR Committee Member, David Wood.
As well as being a long-term member of the Committee himself, David has been an enormous help to his wife, Elizabeth, in her office as our Chairman.
David has written a number of publications over the years, and members will recall that within the last few months they have received a copy of “Still in the Samphire”, the 50th anniversary history of the Society, and of “The Prowess of Charlie Fielder”. Both of these were written by David Wood, and he has put some considerable years of work into them. Elizabeth tells us that he was still researching and writing other material.
David died very suddenly on Friday 30th January 2015. He was alone at their Twickenham house while Elizabeth was at her family’s home in Sussex. She was talking to David on the telephone, when suddenly she heard a noise, he stopped speaking and she could not raise him. She called a neighbour who went to the house, and discovered that David had suffered a heart attack which he did not survive. It has taken a long time for the post mortem to be held, and the death certificate has only just been issued.
The funeral is to be held next week. In accordance with David’s own wishes it is to be a small low-key occasion for close friends and family. Donations in David’s memory if desired may be sent to the Thames Sailing Barge Trust, c/o Roger Newlyn. Please contact us by e-mail if you need Roger’s address. SocSailingBargeResearch@gmail.com
On behalf of the Committee and members of the Society, we send our most sincere sympathy to Elizabeth and her family.
Geoff Robinson went to find and photograph sb Will yesterday, at South Quay, and, because it is a big area, had some trouble finding her. So he has kindly supplied the following directions which will be useful to anyone else on the same mission.
“First – many thanks for ‘Where to See Sailing Barges’ which I found interesting, informative and useful. I went up to South Quay, on the Docklands Light Railway today, specifically to find and photograph Will. It’s a very large area and I only found her after a long search, so I offer the following for anyone else who wants to go up to see her. Whether you arrive at South Quay DLR from the City OR the Lewisham direction, turn left at the bottom of the stairs, walk forward to the road, and cross at the traffic lights. On the other side turn left again and almost immediately you will see on your right a dock basin with a moored vessel named (I think) Le Sorrell – walk a little further on, then turn right and go down the steps onto the quayside OPPOSITE that ship. Ahead of you the quay turns to the left – when you reach the corner you will see Will a couple of hundred yards away. Useful tip for photographers – when you reach Will you will note on your left a flight of stairs leading up to a closed building – the top of those stairs provides an excellent high viewpoint from which to take photographs!”
Picture of sb Will courtesy of Topsail Events and Charters Ltd
Love this photo which was apparently taken at Southend-on-Sea Pier last August, (2014). SB Marjorie with her anchor sticking out of the good old Southend mud. The barges usually lie quite near the end of the pier, so this must be at low water, or as a wag on Facebook put it, “Must be high tide”. These lads up to the knee in water will be a mile and a quarter from the shore. Thanks to TSBT for the photo.
Mike Dawson contacted our Facebook page to let us see this lovely old British Pathe film of Robert Layton singing “Lighterman Tom” in 1933. There are references to “Tilbury Town”, (of great interest to me), and shots of Thames barges on the river. What a lovely old film!
News today that sb Decima is up for sale. The Apollo Duck website has an advertisement from MJLewis Boatsales of Maldon offering the 1899-built Thames sailing barge for sale at £160,000.
Decima was built by FG Fay & Co of Southampton, being one of twenty identical steel barges built by the company for EJ Goldsmith’s of Grays, who traded her until the late 1940s. The 67 ton, 85 foot barge’s history includes ownership by Rayfields of Gravesend, and then Greenhithe Lighterage as a motor barge.
She was sold out of trade to Dennis Wildish in 1977 and he re-rigged her as a charter barge. In 1999 she was sold to Jeremy Taunton as a houseboat.
Master shipwright and well-known sailing barge restorer Tim Goldsack, her present owner, bought Decima in 2003 and started a major restoration. She was gutted and a substantial number of the hull and deck plates were replaced. She was given a new set of rigging and good second-hand sails. A new Gardner 6LXB engine was fitted. Decima has three cabins, with six berths, and central heating was installed when her owner lived aboard her for two years.
In July 2004 Decima set her sails for the first time in over 15 years, and has since been seen regularly around the East coast. She has recently been based at Heybridge Basin, and in 2010 Wilkin and Son Ltd of Tiptree, Essex, (the famous makers of jams, marmalades, and conserves), became her sponsors. Consequently the Tiptree logo has been displayed in her topsail.
According to the advertisement Decima is now at Faversham. Here’s the link to the advertisement on the Apollo Duck website.
Thanks to the Decima website for the following interesting titbits from her history:-
“Things have not always run smoothly for Decima. She has had many mishaps in her long history. Most notably in 1938, during a severe gale, her crew abandoned her off Great Yarmouth, and she sailed herself across the North Sea to Holland! She was relatively unscathed, and was returned to England where she was repaired and returned to work. On November 17th 1940 she was swamped and sank whilst at anchor off Southend pier with a deck cargo of timber. She was re-floated, refitted, and once again was put back to work!”
The first part, filmed on 14th January 2015, has just been published. It shows a trip for a group of RSPB birdwatchers who board at Harwich.
Here’s the link to Part 1.
There’s a further update to the new Where to see Sailing Barges page.
Hugh Perks provided some more information. Tom Lagan, mate of sb Will, reminded me we had forgotten Will. And I thought of a couple of others I had forgotten.
So here’s the link to the updated page.