About the Barge Blog
This is the Blog of the Society for Sailing Barge Research.
We will be bringing you news and gossip about sailing barges and barge people, and pictures of these lovely old vessels.
The Society welcomes new members.
It was founded in 1963, as the Society for Spritsail Barge Research, by a band of of enthusiasts concerned that the rapid decline and possible extinction of these splendid and historically significant craft would pass largely unrecorded.
From the thousands of Thames sailing barges once plying the rivers and estuaries of the south east and beyond, today just a handful survive in active commission with charter parties and business guests replacing the grain, cement, brick and coal cargoes of yesteryear.
The Society is now renamed The Society for Sailing Barge Research, reflecting a broadening interest in other allied craft, the ports from which they sailed and the men who built, owned and sailed them. It organises walks, talks and exhibitions, and publishes various books and journals on sailing barge related subjects. Amongst these is “Topsail”, a regular treasure chest of sailing barge history, profusely illustrated with fascinating photographs of long lost craft and the ports they once served. Members also receive a twice yearly Newsletter, “Mainsheet”, which details the activities of the Society and highlights the fortunes of the barges that survive, as well as providing further snippets of our maritime heritage as ongoing research yields yet more of the barge trade that ceased in 1970 when the Cambria carried her last freight under sail alone. A few ex sailormen continued as motor barges into the 1980’s.
Membership of the Society for Sailing Barge Research gives great value at only £20 per annum for individual or family membership. A membership form can be found on the Society’s website – click here
We would be delighted to hear from interested readers, or to receive barge news to go on the blog. Contact us at SocSailingBargeResearch@gmail.com
The Society’s website is http://www.sailingbargeresearch.org.uk