Blog Archives

Happy in his work!

Here’s SSBR Committee Member, Dave Brooks, at work today.   But what is he doing?

Dave Brooks 15 04 17

(Picture courtesy of Maggs Casey Kelly)


Where to see Sailing Barges in Kent and other places

After yesterday’s post of a list of places to see barges in Essex, we are now able to include

Dave Brooks

Dave Brooks

Kent and other places.   Dave Brooks has kindly given us a list of where in Kent sailing barges may be seen, and has added a few other places.

Here’s the link to the updated page. 

Help needed with Cambria’s painting

News from Dave Brooks about Cambria.

“Cambria is now in the dry dock at Oare Creek.    If anybody has any spare time to devote to painting the hull it would be appreciated as we only have a short time in there.

“Tomorrow Ryan may be pressure washing the bottom, so painting activity could be restricted to the topsides for a while.   Paint and implements are on board the barge.”


Hugh gets to work with the polish

Dave Brooks has provided this terrific photo of Hugh Perks cleaning Cambria’s brass.   Good old Hugh, helping out.   Mind you, fellow SSBR Committee Member, Roger Newlyn says, “What you have to do to get a turn on the wheel!!”

Hugh Perks cleans Cambria's brass (DB)

A round-up of the Swale Match

We’ve seen some really great photos of Saturday’s Swale Match.   So, to start with, here’s one that Hugh Perks sent us together with his reflections on the Match.   He was lucky enough to be on board Cambria so was able to observe his fellow SSBR Committee member, Dave Brooks, at work.


Swale Match 2013 (RHP)


Hugh writes, “Yesterday’s Swale Match  –  Plenty of wind, Force 6, got up to 33mph at one time and on Cambria we had chine out of the water frequently, lying over nicely as photo shows.    Dave Brooks was on the port bowlin’ all day;  he must have lost two stones with all his hard work.”

More pictures to come.

Anniversary Thames Match attracts 16 Barges

It was a great achievement to gather 16 barges for the Thames Match on Saturday.   ThamesMatch2013 (DBrooks)It would always have been a special occasion as the 150th anniversary of the first match, but was made more special  –  and more poignant  –  by the sudden death at the end of last year of Mark Boyle who had re-started the matches in the 1990s and done so much to drive them forward.   All credit then to the Committee who picked up the reins, (oh dear, we are into horse metaphors now!), and provided such a special 2013 match.    Not least, mention must be made of Richard Walsh, our own SSBR Vice Chairman, who stepped in as Match Secretary.

The weather was lovely for spectators and those taking part, but the lack of wind at the start caused big problems.   This year the match finished at Erith rather than Gravesend and the winners of the three classes were:-

Coasting Class  –  Cambria

Champion Staysail Class  –  Niagara

Champion Bowsprit Class  –  Edme

SSBR Committee member and Cambria Trust Secretary, Dave Brooks, has published an excellent report of the match on the Cambria website.   As he says, he had defected for the weekend to Lady Daphne, but he can’t resist watching out for Cambria!   Here’s the link to the report on the Cambria Blog.   The splendid picture was taken by Dave Brooks.

Simon turns Xylonite red in the Pin Mill Match

Simon North has made another superb barging film, this time of the 2013 Xylonite in Blackwater Match 2013 (Dave Brooks)Pin Mill Sailing Barge Match.

He was aboard Tim Kent’s Xylonite and has concentrated on the crew and their actions.   Shot at times in sepia, and at times in a very fetching red, Simon has truly captured the magic of the sailing barge.   There’s interesting background music, and some funky timing.

Congratulations Simon  –  another great film!

Click here for the link to the film.

Photo on right by Dave Brooks.

Dave finds the Northdown

You can’t keep a Barge Nut down!   

Julie may have taken Dave Brooks off to France on holiday, but guess what he finds?   Yes, a barge;  to be precise the Northdown at Port Musee Douarnenez — in Douarnenez, Bretagne.    Here’s the series of pictures he took:-

Northdown under covers

Northdown under covers

Northdown under covers

Northdown under covers














Northdown's Transom

Northdown’s Transom

Northdown's Spars

Northdown’s Spars




and a reminder of where this one goes!

and a reminder of where this one goes!


Cambria and Waverley at Gravesend

Photos of the paddle steamer Waverley, when she was doing trips on the Thames with Waverley at Gravesend 2012last year, have just been published on the vessel’s Facebook page.   Amongst them is this terrific one showing Waverley and sb Cambria on either side of the new pontoon at Gravesend.  

When Waverley came into the pontoon for the first time, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a brass band playing on the pier, I was on board Cambria with Dave Brooks and Rob Bassi.   We had been expecting quite a few Waverley passengers to visit Cambria and were all ready to show them round.   In the end only two were given permission to disembark from the paddle steamer and come on board, and they were only allowed five minutes.   A high speed tour took place!  

Still it was great to see these two ladies of the sea side by side, and a stirring sight when those huge paddles turned and Waverley continued up river.  

Annie’s at Kitty’s wheel while the barge’s mascot looks on

Yesterday we posted photos of Dave and Julie Brooks, taken by Annie Meadows, when they went for a sail with Team Kitty.   Today Dave gets his own back and posts this lovely picture of Annie which he took when they were sailing on Kitty.

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