Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cambria’s compass in memory of Tony Ellis

Here’s the Compass which was presented to sb Cambria in memory of Tony Ellis, and a close up of the brass plate commemorating the occasion.

Tony Ellis was the inspiration behind the project to restore Cambria.   It was he who eventually persuaded The Maritime Trust to sell the rapidly deteriorating vessel to The Cambria Trust for one pound.   It took twenty years to complete the project and for Cambria to rejoin the fleet of Thames sailing barges.

Sadly Tony Ellis died in 2008, three years before Cambria sailed again.   The Ellis family donated a sum to enable a large old compass to be bought and installed on the barge as a memorial to Tony and it was blessed at a short memorial service during the re-dedication of Cambria in May 2012.



“Repro Barges” add colour and interest to Hale Wharf

Hardened barge enthusiasts may like to see these few images taken from a trip down the Lee Navigation back in April.   I found the sight of these two repro barges that are moored at Hale Wharf on the River Lee navigation, just above Tottenham Lock at Ferry Lane, quite bizarre.   From up-river I had thought “what a coincidence, two barges from the East Coast have ventured up the Lee”.    I had never imagined being so far inland that I would be giving it some of the old “whe’re yer for”, as I like to do whenever the occasion presents itself when sailing down the Blackwater.   I could just make out the familiar top and mizzen masts with a sprinkling of brailed brown sail.

Even so the picture before me just didn’t look right.   I’m so used to seeing the real thing that in the few moments it took to get closer I had gathered my thoughts and realized all was not what it seemed.    After asking a few questions I found out that they were Renaissance and Judith, part of the London Borough of Haringey’s regeneration of the waterside here.

The two barges certainly add colour and interest to the wharf.   Both barges are 25 metres long and were built by Manor Marine in Dorset.   They were modelled on the local powder barges, (the Lady of the Lea was one of them), that once shifted munitions from Waltham Abbey to Woolwich Arsenal, and they give the look of an historic working boat but with the interior in keeping with modern needs to offer local businesses a rather unique office space.  

Words and pictures by Tony Smith (Creek Sailor)

%d bloggers like this: