Monthly Archives: August 2013
There’s a good article in The Daily Telegraph about Thames barges. Written by Adam Lusher, it describes his joining the crew of Centaur for the 2013 Pin Mill Match.
Adam was clearly smitten by the barges:-
“As the red ochre sails clustered around the mouth of the Orwell, it was as if the river had returned to the days when the Thames sailing barge was the East Coast’s cargo vessel of choice, not the giant container vessels that now unload at Felixstowe, more maritime tower blocks than ships. It felt all the more dreamlike because it had seemed so improbable.”
He joined Mate, Chris Martin, on a winch but not for long:-
“…….paying crew members can choose their own activity level. Those who wish can take a turn at the winch. The seriously enthusiastic can train to be mates and skippers. Others, however, prefer to help cook lunch or simply to admire the view.
“I strongly recommend the latter. When your smiling crewmate offers you a winch handle, remember that the leeboards both weigh 1.5 muscle-sapping tons. I lasted precisely one tack, before I gasped my excuses and abandoned my station.”
Here’s Adam taking a turn on the winch with mate, Chris Martin.
We would just point out to Adam, though, that tremendous as TSBT’s work with Centaur and Pudge is, there are other Trusts working hard to preserve individual barges, several of them now proudly sailing as members of the active fleet.
Here’s the link to the full story. Well worth a read.
Mark Goldsmith has commented on our Gallery page saying:
“Thought you might like to see my latest sculptural piece entitled Light Wind Fast Tide. Photos on your site helped inspire me.”
Do have a look at the piece. It is quite stunning. The link is below.
It’s called Thames Heritage Alliance, sub title “Our heritage on the tidal Thames”. Traditional boatyards and maritime sites along the River Thames are under threat – as never before – from commercial and residential development and this site intends to try to redress that.
This is what they say,
“By linking some of these rare and historic places together, the Thames Heritage Alliance is drawing attention to their importance, to help them survive in the age of high-rise and high-price property development.
“It’s been suggested that various Thames-side sites with national heritage value should join together to promote understanding of how small sites along the great river have contributed to our country’s history.”
This is the link to the Thames Heritage Alliance website.
We were delighted today to hear from Jennifer Franks. This is what she says:-
“I am 68 now, but spent lots of time in my childhood on my Dad’s barge. In those days there was the Azima, then later the Ardwina. My brother was on the Pudge.
“My Dad took part in lots of barge matches on the Sirdar and Mirosa, amongst others, and often sailed the Sirdar advertising Bell’s whisky. In 1964, when the Queen opened the new Forth Bridge, my Dad sailed the Sirdar under it. I’ve got the photos and newspaper reports.
“My Dad was fabulous and, as far as I am concerned, Thames bargemen are the best – after my Dad of course!”
We’ve seen some really great photos of Saturday’s Swale Match. So, to start with, here’s one that Hugh Perks sent us together with his reflections on the Match. He was lucky enough to be on board Cambria so was able to observe his fellow SSBR Committee member, Dave Brooks, at work.
Hugh writes, “Yesterday’s Swale Match – Plenty of wind, Force 6, got up to 33mph at one time and on Cambria we had chine out of the water frequently, lying over nicely as photo shows. Dave Brooks was on the port bowlin’ all day; he must have lost two stones with all his hard work.”
More pictures to come.
Thames Sailing Barge Trust has been successful in obtaining funding of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for sb Centaur to have a new outer bottom. The work will be done at Oare led by Tim Goldsack, and we are pleased to learn that it is intended to involve apprentice shipwrights once again.
Here’s the link to a video from Shipping TV telling the story.
(Photo courtesy of Thames Sailing Barge Trust)
UPDATE – There’s a nice report about this in the Chelmsford Weekly News, including a photograph of the Trust’s President, Chairman and Vice Chairman with local dignitaries.
Here’s the link to the report.