Category Archives: Uncategorized

Better news for Maldon’s barge operators

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.

Threat to Maldon’s barges

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.

https://democracy.maldon.gov.uk/mgEPetitionListDisplay.aspx?RPID=501853687&HPID=501853687&VM=2

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.

All about Alice

Because she lives at Gun Wharf, Portsmouth, where she is the only AliceThames sailing barge, we tend not to hear much about sb Alice.

But My Classic Boat has a lovely film showing the mast being re-hoisted for the winter after the sails had been removed, with owner Alan Gick telling us about Alice’s history, the work done on her, and how he uses her now.

This is the link to the film.

 

A smart topsail for Blue Mermaid

Things seem to be moving fast now with Blue Mermaid.

Today we get these great pictures of her topsail being worked on at James Lawrence Sailmakers, where sponsor Maldon Little Ship Club’s logo is being applied.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Matt Care RIP

Very shocked today to learn of the sudden, tragic death of Matt Care.Matt Care

Matt played a huge part as a volunteer in the restoration of sb Cambria, spending many hours wielding a paint brush.   He also ran the Cambria’s website and wrote a blog about the restoration, even continuing for a considerable time after he and his wife Elizabeth moved to Ireland, her home.

There they lived in a farmhouse with a smallholding and began keeping animals, expanding the variety over the years and keeping us all avidly reading about the pigs, the sheep, the goats, the ducks, etc, and of course all the work done on the house.

Matt was a man of many interests  –  from the lovely little westies to Citroen 2CVs, to fishing smacks.   He was posting on Facebook regularly.

From a chance remark I made about how Tilbury power station in the background spoilt a picture of Cambria, he wove together a story that I loved pictures of power stations and kept posting them!   Here’s how I shall remember Matt.  He said he wasn’t asleep, in a hammock on Cambria at St Kat’s.  Matt Care on board Cambria at St Katherine's Dock

From the photograph at the top of the page it can be seen how full of life he always was.  What a tragedy that he has been taken at such an early age.

We send our deepest sympathy to Elizabeth and all the family.

 

 

 

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.

 

The Times does us proud today

I often think that The Times doesn’t know this part of the world exists.   But today they have done us proud.   There’s a picture of The Maldon Mud Race last Sunday and a picture of sb Marjorie in the Medway Match last Saturday.   Rob Powell’s picture I think, (please confirm).   I like the caption too.   It says “…. the Medway Barge Match, the first of seven races this summer which celebrate the historic role of barges.”

Maldon Mud Racde 2018 from TimesMedway Match 2018 Marjorie from Times

Decima on show at Dartford Nautical Festival

Some of us have been following with great interest sb Decima’s risky but brave journey up to the lock at Dartford Creek, where she has been during the winter.

This weekend there’s a chance to see Decima and to have a great day out at the Dartford Nautical Festival.   It’s on Sunday 27th May starting at 1pm.   Here are the details.

Dartford Nautical Festival

Don’t forget it’s the TSBT Film Show on Sunday

This coming Sunday

TSBT Film Show coming to Faversham

Film Show Poster white

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