Category Archives: Maldon
The previous post was about the proposal from Maldon Council to increase mooring fees on Hythe Quay by 94%.
Good news today that last night’s meeting of the Council changed its view after so many people expressed their opinion that it would mean the end for Thames sailing barges at Maldon. The following message from Topsail Charters outlines what happened at that meeting and at a gathering this morning of barge operators.
“Mooring fee hike proposal could lead to ‘catastrophe’ for Hythe Quay’s iconic barges”
“The barge operators had a meeting this morning to discuss last night’s decision, and in general we are pleased with the outcome.
“This was that fees would increase by 10% from the beginning of April and that several meetings would take place this year before any future increases.
“We are particularly pleased that the Council has agreed to discuss a longer term plan for Hythe Quay, together with any potential fee increases, and are pleased that it recognizes us as a ‘heritage asset’. We look forward to working closely with the Council in the future to promote Maldon, its barges and the Quay.
“There was great local support at the meeting from the local waterfront, especially Maldon Yacht Club, and I am sure that impressed Councillors. We wish the Club well with its dealings with the Council.
“We greatly appreciate all the support we have been shown especially from the newly-formed Maldon and Heybridge Heritage Harbour Group who are working hard to gain greater recognition for Maldon’s important Maritime Heritage. You will no doubt hear more from the Group in the future.
“The Group instigated an e-petition which had 300 signatures in the first two days. We would urge people still to sign the petition, which can be found on the Maldon District Council website under ‘petitions’ heading. By signing the Heritage Harbour Group’s petition members of the public will give the Council an indication of how much support there is for our Maritime Heritage.
“Obviously there is still work to be done for the future. We recognize that these are challenging financial times for all local authorities, and while the proposed increases would have been crippling for the barges we feel certain we can continue to make a contribution in other ways to the town. We look forward to working with the Council to build a sustainable future for Maldon’s Past.
Topsail Charters Team”
This is excellent news, but also something which will need close watching for the future.
Maldon District Council – E Petition – Increase in charges for mooring barges and parking cars on Hythe Quay
The Thames Sailing Barge Trust and other barge Operators on Hythe Quay at Maldon are facing a huge increase in mooring and parking charges from Maldon District Council which all are fighting. However the council is not looking at the wider issues relating to what it proposes.
The Thames Sailing Barge Trust is unable to afford a 94% rise in charges and neither can the other operators.
The Maldon & Heybridge Heritage Harbour Working Group, on which the barge operators have a voice, has set up an e-petition on the Maldon District Council website. The link is below. Could we ask you to click on the link and register and then support the statement that has been issued.
Once you have done this, please copy the link to other friends/parties/associates you may know who may live and/or work in the wider area around Maldon for them to do the same.
This is very important. The future of the barges staying at Maldon is at stake.
Many thanks in advance, your support is appreciated.
Another award for Topsail Charters Ltd who, last Friday, won “Best Business Contribution to the Community” at the first Pride of Maldon awards.
The company commented: “For the past 31 years we have been a huge part of Maldon’s waterfront and riverside heritage. As a Maldon family-owned business we take special pride in sourcing as much as we can from our local surroundings…..from our food suppliers in Maldon’s High Street, to our 34 local staff, our work with Plume School vocational students, and our new apprenticeships schemes.
“A huge thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for helping us win this award!”
Congratulations to all at Topsail Charters on this well-deserved award.
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
Not to be missed is the event coming soon organized by the Blackwater Sailing Barge Match Association.
Called the Sailing Barge Show, it features a new talk by Jim Lawrence, one of the last surviving sailing barge skippers from the days of trade. There will also be a short film of the 2015 match, films from the Association’s archive and a model boat exhibition.
What promises to be a very interesting evening will take place on Saturday 6th February, at 7.30 pm, at Maldon Town Hall. Tickets are £3 each, and there will be refreshments and a quiz in the interval.
Here’s a link to the poster about the event. BSBMA Poster
We visited The Barge Tearooms at Maldon on Sunday as part of our family Christmas.
We hadn’t realized a charity rowing race would be taking place on the river in aid of RNLI, which meant there were large crowds both on Hythe Quay and all along the Promenade. It was a pretty miserable windy, wet day, and we were glad to get on board sb Hydrogen and into the tearooms. There were six of us; four scurried below into the warm, but two hardy souls stayed on deck. The cream tea was excellent, and so, apparently, was the cake. They even provide blankets and umbrellas for those who stay outside! Well worth a visit.
Because of the repairs which are taking place to the Quay there were only the three Topsail Charters barges present: sb Hydrogen, sb Thistle and sb Reminder. At Cooks Yard, sb George Smeed is now looking very smart;
still without leeboards, but two freshly painted specimens were lying nearby in the yard so could be destined for her. And sb Dawn was also there, wrapped up in her winter cover.
While we were there sb Kitty came back from a sausage-and-mash cruise and passed us on her way to Fullbridge where she is based at present.
My tourism event won the Essex award in 2010 and was a finalist in the Eastern Region, so I know what Topsail will have gone through to get as far as the national final.
Anyone interested in Thames sailing barges will be well acquainted with Hythe Quay at Maldon where they will always see Topsail’s charter barges.
Having got through to the national competition, Topsail Charters is one of five companies in the best small attraction category, and the only business from Essex out of the 75 finalists in all categories.
Stephanie Valentine, Managing Director of Topsail Charters, has said she is thrilled for the recognition of all the hard work of her fantastic team and the effort they make to give their customers the best possible experience.
Well done to Topsail Charters on a great achievement so far, and the very best of luck for the finals at an awards ceremony on 11th May.
You can read the whole story here.
The Match was well advertised on the Quay and Promenade at Maldon, but it was disappointing that so few people were at either place for when the barges returned. Probably the time, the last one arrived at about 5.30pm, and the very cold wind by then put them off. Certainly, apart from The Barge Blog, there were only two people at the far end of the Promenade by the statue who knew what was happening.
Click here for the Results, courtesy of the Sailing Barge Association.
Why not visit them at Maldon Quay and have a guided tour of their two Thames Barges, Pudge and Centaur.
Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully received to help keep the barges sailing.
Monday 6th May – There will be shanty singers performing on board throughout the day. Barges open from 10.30am.
There will be displays showing the work of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust on board and refreshments will be available.
The Trust looks forward to welcoming you aboard.