Hugh’s photo of Tollesbury at Standard Quay

I’m very sorry there have been no posts on The Barge Blog since August.   September, October and most of November are my busiest months in “real life” and I just don’t have the time to deal with it, although I do manage the occasional post to the Society’s Facebook page.

Members of the Society should now have received the autumn edition of our excellent magazine Mainsheet  –  and if you aren’t a member and don’t have Mainsheet then you’re really missing something.   Mainsheet contained the news that Hugh Perks has stood down from the Committee of SSBR.   Tollesbury October 2015We are all very sad that he has come to this decision, although we understand his reasons.   Hugh is a founder member of the Society, has held office and has brought his vast knowledge of maritime subjects to our deliberations and indeed to our publications.  

Thankfully, Hugh has said that he intends to continue to bombard us with letters, notes, corrections, etc, to keep the Committee on its toes.   And as good as his word, he has sent us this splendid photograph of sb Tollesbury.   He says:- “Tollesbury is now based at Standard Quay, Faversham, as her former berth at Barking is no longer available. She is looking very smart and well painted up.   Her mast and topmast need attention, but the sprit is newly painted.   The foliage in pots on the decks and hatches surely qualifies her for the “Valdora Trophy”.   Old timers may remember Valdora the ‘flowerpot’ barge at Great Yarmouth in the early 1950s.

“Also at Standard Quay is sb Decima, sporting somewhat virulent green paint in places, and sb Repertor is berthed opposite. “


Posted on 22/11/2015, in Barge People, sb Decima, sb Repertor, sb Tollesbury and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Steve Thorpe

    Hi, Nice to see a Thames barge in the Darent when I was birding the marshes today. Good on you for getting it past the A206 – shame about the silted up lock gate. Any plans? I notice in Hythe Street a pub called the Hufflers Arms with a sign showing a picture of a Thames barge. By analogy with a mythical pub called the Brick Layers Arms showing a picture of – errm – a brick wall, I presume a huffler is a sailor of a Thames barge but my dictionary and google do not confirm this. Can you explain ‘huffler’?

    Also – another birding trip – a clinker built (whooo — technical words ….) Thames barge at Topsham on the Exe undergoing restoration which is cute and I mention it only because you probably don’t need me to.

    Spoke to some tug owners who thought you would have to take the Decima out backwards. Naaah! I say you can unblock the lock gate, sail it up stream, lift up the footbridge and turn it around in the pool up stream of the bridge. Whayy! Happy sailing.

    Best wishes



    • Thanks for your comment Steve, very interesting to read. A huffler is a pilot or extra hand employed to assist in getting the vessel up difficult rivers and creeks or through bridges. In other words, not part of the usual crew. You can find a glossary of barging terms at our website on the following page
      The Thames barge at Topsham is the Vigilant. The ongoing restoration has had one or two hiccups but we hope will be completed.
      David Leal, the owner of Decima, has said she will be leaving Dartford in the spring “and go sailing”.


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