Monthly Archives: October 2012

Video of Cambria’s derigging

Excellent video of Cambria being derigged at the end of the season, which took place at Faversham recently.

Here’s the link.

Thanks to Matt Care for pointing it out and Mark Chapman for publishing the video.

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Lady Jean for sale

There’s an advertisement on The Yacht Market website for the sale of the Lady Jean.   £95,000 to spare? 

The description says that the wooden spritsail Thames Sailing barge is for sale.   She has steel masts and wooden topmast.   At 27 metres in length, she is one of the largest in terms of volume.   Lady Jean is a National Historic Ship and a sister ship to Lady Daphne.   They were built in 1926 by Short Brothers of Rochester for Bradley of Rochester and named after his daughters.   Although for part of her life she was called Sir Alan Herbert.

Previously used as a schoolship by the East Coast Sail Trust, she later became an artist’s studio and home.   She has since undergone major restoration work including opening up the whole hold area to give a large living space, but there is still work to do.

The advertisement can be seen here.

Jack Beazley, model-maker and photographer, RIP

We heard today that Cyril Charles Beazley, (known as Jack), sadly died on 24th October at the age of 82.   Jack, who lived in Dagenham, recently had a major operation lasting nine-and-a-half hours.

At the May 2011 Annual General Meeting of SSBR Jack Beazley was awarded the Half Model Trophy in recognition of his support to the Society in providing barge photographs and of donating the CC Beazley Collection of Photographs and Negatives to the SSBR Archive.   Unfortunately Jack was not able to be at the meeting to receive the Trophy so Richard Walsh accepted it on his behalf.   The photograph shows SSBR Chairman Emeritus Tony Farnham presenting the Half Model to Richard.

This year, of course, the Half Model needed to come back for its new recipient, so I went to visit Jack at his Dagenham home in June in order to collect it, and sure enough I was given more photos and negatives for the Archive.  

That day I was on my way to the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge at Chingford for a meeting with the Curator, and had allowed half an hour to be with Jack.   In fact, I missed my meeting completely as I spent well over an hour with him.   He asked if I would like to see his models and showed me where he works on them.   He was currently working on a model of Cutty Sark, and showed me the very fine thread he was using for the rigging, all the plans and tools, and so on.   As well as ships, he had made splendid models of railway engines, and over the years had won awards for his model-making.   He also had a collection of clocks.  He visited boot fairs and bought old clocks, removed and restored the mechanisms, researched the type of wooden case each clock should have, and then made it.   Some of them were large striking clocks with a pendulum, and he told me that his neighbours sometimes complained about the noise of the striking in the night!

Jack Beazley was a fascinating character and I am so glad I had the chance to meet him. 

(Words and picture – Tricia Gurnett)

Barges stuck in fog

Today’s message from Topsail Charters tells us that thick fog is hampering barges returning to Maldon.   Thistle is in a “pea souper” off Harwich, and Reminder is out at Brightlingsea.

A low opinion of dumb bargemen from the great writer

I often read and enjoy In the Boat Shed, the blog which Gavin Atkin writes, but I am grateful today to Edith May Trading Company for alerting me to a new post from Gavin about the respective merits of “dumb bargemen” and sailing bargemen in the time of Charles Dickens.   It’s fascinating to read Dickens’s extremely low opinion of the dumb bargemen, and Gavin promises a future post on “his equally determined rant against the selfish and stupid operators of steam launches, which are clearly the Chelsea tractor and jetski drivers of his time.”

Here’s the link to In the Boat Shed to see the whole article.

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