Monthly Archives: December 2012

Frank Thompson – RIP

We have more sad news to record, with the death suddenly on Boxing Day 2012 of Frank Thompson, after a very brief illness.

Frank, who lived in Layer-de-la-Haye, was 92.   He was a member of SSBR and often contributed to Topsail and Mainsheet.   He and his wife, Kathleen, sailed on many barges in the days of trade, particularly  with the late Stan and Chick Yeates on board sb Glenway.

Both Richard Walsh and John White heard from Frank just before Christmas when his notes were full of news.   Indeed, he gave John a few additions for The Sailing Barge Compendium.

The funeral will be on Monday 14 January, at 12.30pm, at Colchester Crematorium.   All are welcome at the service, where Jimmy Lawrence will be performing the shanty Happisburgh Light, and afterwards at the Donkey & Buskins pub, Layer-de-la-Haye.

Details of Mark Boyle’s funeral

We have been advised that Mark Boyle’s funeral will be on Thursday 10 January, at 2.40pm, at Barham Crematorium near Canterbury, (postcode CT4 6QU).  

It is Christine’s wish that anyone who wants to come and share in this non-religious celebration of Mark’s life will be welcome.   It will be followed by a gathering at Whitstable Yacht Club.

Happy Christmas

With very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a good New Year to all our friends.

Kitty in the snow 5 2 12

Mark Boyle – Another great loss to the sailing barge world

A number of friends have contacted us about the very sad news of the death of Mark Boyle.

The inspiration behind the re-establishment of the Thames Barge Match and its secretary since 1995, Mark died suddenly on 19 December 2012.

As Hilary Halajko says in a comment to our previous post, December has been a sad month for the barging world.

Dick Harman and Catherine de Bont – RIP

Sadly we have to report the loss of some more leading figures of the barge community.

Dick Harman died peacefully at 4am on 13th December, following a massive stroke earlier in the year.   The funeral is to take place on Friday 21st December at 11 a.m. sharp at the Salvation Army citadel in St Osyth Road, Clacton, with the committal in Clacton cemetery (off Burrs Road) at 11.45.    Reception afterwards at the nearby pub.

We have also heard that Catherine de Bont has died.   Her funeral will be at Bobbing Crematorium on 31st December.  

More on Vigilant’s journey to Topsham

Yesterday we posted the news from Ann Mccabe that sb Vigilant is now at Vigilant en route to Topsham Topsham, Devon, awaiting restoration.

Today, Ann has kindly sent us two excellent photos.   The first shows Vigilant en route to Topsham from Essex and was taken as she was going up through Exmouth.   Her hull had been covered with boarding to protect her on the journey.   The second shows her moored at Topsham Quay and looking more like a barge.

Vigilant at Topsham 2012

(Photos  –  Ann Mccabe)

Vigilant now at Topsham

We posted on our Facebook page in January this year that sb Vigilant was up for Vigilantauction.   The news was spotted by Sheila Hughan Moore who asked if it was the first time that a sailing barge had been sold on e-Bay.    At the close of the sale period, there were 34 bids from 10 bidders, with the winning one being for £7,990. 

Martin Phillips told us that Vigilant had been lying in London for a while after she stopped actively sailing in the 90s, and was sold to become a houseboat at Woodbridge before moving to St Osyth.   We were all agreed that the photos on e-Bay showed that she was in a sorry state.

Now we have heard from Ann Mccabe that Vigilant is moored at Topsham Quay, awaiting restoration.

The picture shows her at the time of the auction.

Another great film by Simon North on the SCST’s work

This year, 2012, the Sea Change Sailing Trust chartered sb Cambria several times for its work with young people.

Simon North sailed with them on one charter to make this film about the young people on board and to look at why SCST uses Thames sailing barges.

Here’s the link to the film.

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