The last Mate visits Cambria

David Rye drew my attention today, via Facebook, to a lovely film about Cambria, starring Dick Durham.

I hadn’t seen the film before and it’s absolutely fascinating.   There are some great pictures of Cambria, below deck, as she is now and some old pictures too including some nice shots of Bob Roberts.

Dick tells some wonderful stories about his fourteen months as the last Mate of Cambria when she was in trade.   He was a handsome young man of 18 at the time.

Here’s the link to the film.



Decima braves a low bridge and reaches Dartford Lock

The Gravesend Reporter has an interesting article about the first Thames sailing barge to get

to Dartford Lock for a long time  –  certainly since the low bridge was built at Bob Dunn Way, and probably a good few years before that.

On Thursday of this week, 21st December, history was made when sb Decima made the journey along the creek, seemed to pass easily under the bridge and reached the lock.

Yes it seemed easy, but it followed a great deal of measuring and calculating to ensure she would fit under the bridge. 

Gravesham councillor Conrad Broadley said,  “We really take our hat off to the adventurous owner and skipper David Leal and Colin Robson respectively for having the bravery to make what is quite an epic journey into the unknown paving the way for future nautical visitors to the historic moorings at Dartford.”

The intention is that Decima will be open to the public on some days.

Here’s the link to the Gravesend Reporter story.     Photographs below are courtesy of Conrad Broadley.

Below is Conrad Broadley’s video of Decima passing under the low bridge, and there are a series of short videos of her negotiating the silted up creek and narrow entrance to the lock.   Here’s one of them.








Alice welcomes HMS Queen Elizabeth

The biggest warship built by Britain sailed into her home base of Portsmouth today, and, of course, there had to be a Thames sailing barge there to welcome her.   Here are some pictures of HMS Queen Elizabeth, bigger than a whole street of houses, with Alice.

The Bargees’ Cowes

32 “Thoroughbreds of the Tideway” compete in the 1928 Thames Sailing Barge Match  –  what a beautiful silent film.


Reminder gets her broad pennant

We reported in April that sb Reminder had been named by National Historic Ships as its Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for East Anglia.

Now Reminder has been presented with her broad pennant by National Historic Ships at Maldon.DGxzW7UW0AAt8vL

Great film of Thames Match by Harley Deards

This is a marvellous film of the 2017 Thames Match made by Harley Deards.   Congratulations Harley, this is one well worth keeping.

We shall also be having some other films from him during the year.






Hugh’s pictures of the Medway Match

We were delighted that Hugh Perks was able to come along to the SSBR Annual General Meeting this year, and even more delighted that he managed to get to the Medway Barge Match on 3rd June 2017.

As usual, he has taken some excellent pictures and was kind enough to let me have three of them for The Barge Blog.   So here are Mirosa; Niagara and Edith May; and Edme.


Reminder named Historic Ships Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for East Anglia

We are delighted that sb Reminder has been named by National Historic Ships as its Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for East Anglia.   Reminder can usually be seen at Maldon Hythe Quay.   She carries OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAout an extensive programme each year, and again this year is acting as “home” for the Sea-Change Sailing Trust’s charters with young people.

The press release from National Historic Ships is given below.

Your Editor is particularly pleased to see that the Regional Flagship for the South West is Our Daddy  –  not a sailing barge but a Looe fishing boat, claiming to be the last of her type built.   I had the pleasure of seeing her at her home base of Brixham not long after she changed hands and of talking to her new owners.   She is a beautiful vessel being very well looked after.


National Historic Ships UK announces FLAGSHIP OF THE YEAR AWARD

Following eight successful years of very different kinds of vessels from around the UK winning this award, National Historic Ships UK has again extended the scheme for 2017.

This year, National Historic Ships UK decided the applications more strongly represented Regional rather than National event programmes and it was decided to award four Regional Flagships to recognise the commitment that many vessels give to their home cruising grounds.   In announcing this further extension of the scheme Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK, said: “I am delighted that we are able to offer these Awards once more and publicise the range of cruising programmes which these vessels are planning for the coming season.   Our four 2017 Regional Flagships have all shown their enthusiasm for raising the profile of UK maritime heritage at the events they are attending and we look forward to working closely with them in the months ahead.”

The Award criteria requires vessel owners to come forward with seasonal programmes to engage the public through festivals, demonstrations, on-board cruises, quayside visits, educational programmes, participation in races and similar activities. Flagships are expected to promote actively the role of National Historic Ships UK by distributing associated PR material and flying the flag as our ambassadors. The four Regional Flagships will each receive a grant of £250 to be spent on the vessel, along with a special Regional Flagship Broad Pennant denoting the year in which the award was made.

The 2017 Regional Flagship Awards have been given to: Caronia (Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for the Solent) – for her commitment to education and engagement with maritime heritage involving an intensive series of visits from her current home port in Chichester to her historic home port of St Ives, via Yarmouth, Falmouth, Penzance, Plymouth and Dartmouth.

Daniel Adamson (Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for the North-West) – for her commitment to education and engagement with the North-West’s maritime heritage involving an intensive series of visits extending to Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, and Lymm.

Our Daddy (Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for the South West) – for her commitment to education and engagement with the South West’s maritime heritage involving an intensive series of visits extending to Brixham, Looe, Falmouth, Dartmouth and the Isles of Scilly.

Reminder (Regional Flagship of the Year 2017 for East Anglia) – for her commitment to education and engagement with East Anglia’s maritime heritage involving an intensive series of visits extending to Maldon, the Medway, and London.

Each Flagship will be presented with its broad pennant by a member of the NHS-UK team.  

The Scales family visit Kardomah

Diana Farmer‎ posted this great picture on Facebook today.   It shows her grandfather (Fred Scales), her dad Bill (William Scales), and herself looking at the sb Kardomah after gales in 1961.   It appeared in the local newspaper (the Essex County Standard).

Kardomah was built at Rochester by Gill & Sons in 1907.    Her owners included Charles Tuff, Samuel West and the War Department. She was hulked in 1947 in front of the Custom House, Brightlingsea. All trace of her had gone by 2005.

Here’s a sad picture of her taken by John and Lena Horner in the late 1960s.

Just 7 Days to go! Don’t miss the Show!

Just 7 days to go before The Thames Sailing Barge Trust and thfilm-show-poster-grey-v2-2-march-2017-updatee Society for Sailing Barge Research hold 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 still available in advance and cost £7.00 per person.   Or 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.
Postal applications need to arrive before the 7th March, so tickets can be returned.

Thank you for your support.

%d bloggers like this: