Category Archives: sb Ironsides
Our Archive will be open and one of our committee will be there to show you the vast collection of photographs, books, documents and other artifacts about Thames sailing barges. Sterling work has been done over the years by our Archivist, Don Wright, ably assisted by Society Secretary, John White, in getting all this treasury of information catalogued and properly stored. (Picture shows John and Don outside the Archive.)
Then down by the river, we shall have a gazebo with display panels and literature about the Society of Sailing Barge Research, and our committee will be very
happy to talk to visitors about barges and the Society. Our books and magazines will be on sale and we shall, of course, also have membership forms there. At £20 a year it is great value and you will receive our two excellent publications, Topsail annually and Mainsheet twice a year. And members receive occasional books published by the Society for Sailing Barge Research free of charge; last year there were two excellent such freebies, Still in the Samphire, the Society’s 50th anniversary history, and The Prowess of Charlie Fielder.
The festival will coincide with the Old Gaffers Association 30th Anniversary Crouch Rally visit to the North Fambridge Yacht Club. There will be gig racing on the river, and stands including those taken by the Coastguard, the RNLI, a sail-maker, and many more. sb Ironsides will be present.
More details nearer the date.
At last week’s SSBR Committee meeting we talked about sb Ironsides and heard that Toby Lester, owner of Ironsides, hoped to have her sailing again this summer, with more restoration work after that. A lot of new steel has been put into the barge.
Today the Ironsides Facebook page has noted that she is about to come out of dry dock and has published a series of photos of the restoration. It says:-
“Ironsides – So far this has been a very busy week as we are due to leave the dry dock next week, so lots of anti-foul and painting has been done inside and out, but hopefully she is now looking smart. Next job the rigging. “
Here are the facts about Ironsides – Staysail Class; Bob:- Swallowtail with ‘tower’ emblem on blue ground. Official No 112710, 78 ton; Built of Dutch iron at West Thurrock in 1900 by Clarke & Stanfield; 85 x 20.3 x 6.4. Owned by A.P.C.M. and sold to L.R.T.C. in 1928; she was converted to a motor barge in 1938 and traded to northern France. She was sold to Alan Reekie in 1968; re-rigged at Brentford and became a successful racing and charter barge. Afterwards owned by Mark Tower, she was based at Maldon / St Katherine’s. From 2003 she has been at Faversham for refitting. Now owned by Toby Lester and Linda Hoy who plan to have her sailing this year after an extensive refurbishment to her hull, deck and topsides.
We wish Toby and Ironsides all the best for the sailing season.
Photos courtesy of sb Ironsides.