Category Archives: Events

A wet and muddy Fambridge Festival

SSBR was at Fambridge River Festival yesterday in its fourth year.   But no sunlit pictures this time.   We were all drowned SSBR rats, and the picture shows two of us together with hastily boxed up books, sopping wet table covers, wet posters shredded by the  high winds, and plastic covers over the tables.

From opening at 10.00 to about 11.45 everything was lovely:  fine weather and lots of people;  Pudge and Ironsides on the pontoon, together with Pioneer, Marigold, the tug Barking and the Burnham on Crouch RNLI inshore boat;  a classic car show;  a climbing wall;  music from the stage so old that even I knew the lyrics;  Kevin Finch with some of his shipwright tools, “I just went round the workshop and picked up some things I thought would be of interest”;  lots of food and drink stalls from Posh Coffee to Pimms, from lamb shank to hot dogs, from crêpes to ice cream   –  and no, I didn’t have an ice cream, too wet and cold;  yes, I did have a crêpe.   We sold a very respectable number of books including Jimmy Lawrence’s new one, “London Light, a Sailorman’s Story,” and the last “Sailing Barge Compendium”.   We took some membership subscriptions and found some potential new members.

But by 12 noon the rain was steady.   Can’t sell books and magazines in the rain.   We covered the table tops with plastic sheets.   The high wind seemed determined to rip the SSBR banner away from its pole  –  the usual two cords tying it to the tent frame had to be increased to four and still the wind pulled the metal pole out of shape.   We tied our splendid new gazebo by its legs to the tables, themselves so heavy with books they were unlikely to move.   We stuck it out for well over an hour while the wind increased and the rain got heavier.   Surprisingly the visitors stayed for quite a long time, all getting drenched, but eventually they drifted away and the place became deserted

We packed up and took all the stuff back to the Archive.    There are a lot of things that now need mud removed and drying out  –  not least me.   Clothes went straight into the washing machine.   Still, at least we were all home much earlier than expected.

Many thanks to Don Wright, Graham Dent and Tim Mileson who all responded to the plea for help, and to Dilys Renouf who also came alongDSCN0226 SSBR stall at Fambridge River Festival 2018.


Come and visit our Archive’s Open Day

We’re having an Open Day at the SSBR Archive at North Fambridge Yacht Haven on Saturday 2nd June. Great opportunity to have a lovely day out by the River Crouch and to see our collection – our treasure house – of 30,000 items of barge memorabilia. There will be books and paintings on sale too.   Do come along and see us.

Archive Open Day Poster

Don’t miss SSBR & TSBT Archive Film Show

There’s a special event coming up in Maldon that really shouldn’t be missed.

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust and the Society for Sailing Barge Research are holding an Archive Thames Sailing Barge Film Evening on Saturday 11th March at Maldon Town Hall, Market Hill, Maldon.

Some of the films will not have been shown before.

The event is to raise funds for the SSBR and Thames Sailing Barge Trust.   Tickets are available in advance and cost £7.00 per person. On the evening they can be purchased for £8.00.

Doors open at 7:00 pm and the film show starts at 7:30 pm. There will be a real ale bar and teas and coffee. We will also hold a raffle.

To obtain tickets visit the Maldon Tourist Information Office, Wenlock Way, Maldon, or they can be obtained by post by sending a cheque payable to Thames Sailing Barge Trust and a self addressed envelope to: John Rayment, 12 Wisdoms Green, Coggeshall, Colchester. Essex CO6 1SG.

Thank you for your support


SSBR at Leigh Maritime Festival

This Sunday, 21st August, we shall be in the Old Town at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, for the Leigh Maritime Festival.

We shall be in the Scott & Stapleton Maritime Marquee in the car park opposite Leigh Sailing Club.   Barges will be an important theme of the festival this year, with not just SSBR but the Thames Sailing Barge Trust and the Southend Barge Match all taking part.   The three of us will be placed together in a row so you should be able to find us.Leigh Maritime Festival

There will  be lots going on at various venues across the Old Town, including children’s activities.

The Old Town will be closed to traffic from 10am, but there will be plenty of parking available at Leigh station.   So drop the car off, stroll along past the cockle sheds to get in the mood and join us along the High Street and wharves from 11am.

For the seafaring among you the Lower Thames Rowing Club’s Annual Pier Race is setting off from Bell Wharf at 2pm.   There will be a variety of boats racing to Southend pier and back – a route of over 8 miles – with a sprint finish to arrive back at approximately 3.30pm.

Everyone is invited to Marko Sparko’s Pirate show at 3pm for magic and balloon fun.   Once the tide comes in it’s crabbing lines at the ready with Leigh Round Table – see how many you can catch!

Victoria Wharf will be transformed with deckchairs to host a ‘Seaside Concert Party’ with performances from Leigh and Southend Operatic and Dramatic Societies, Ami Hawthorne, the Yardarm Folk Orchestra and the Hoy Shanty Crew.   Bobs Barbershop and Inspire Theatre Collective will be strolling and performing around the Old Town.   Take a seat, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the show.

Father Clive Hillman from St Clements Church will be blessing the catch as it comes in and a chance to buy the freshest fish of the day!

Then there is TS Implacable and the Sea Cadet Corps on Bell Wharf; exhibitions from the Port of London Authority; artefacts from the “London”, which was wrecked in the estuary in 1665; a 5ft replica sailing barge; the Police launch; Endeavour; live music at the Peterboat; Scott & Stapleton stocks; the … oh just come on down and have a great day!

Feel free to come along in nautical themed dress to add to the occasion.

The event ends at 4 pm.


TSBT’s Sea Songs & Shanty Evening – Not to be missed

3rd Shanty Night 2 (2)

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