Posted by The Barge Blog
Hardened barge enthusiasts may like to see these few images taken from a trip down the Lee Navigation back in April. I found the sight of these two repro barges that are moored at Hale Wharf on the River Lee navigation, just above Tottenham Lock at Ferry Lane, quite bizarre. From up-river I had thought “what a coincidence, two barges from the East Coast have ventured up the Lee”. I had never imagined being so far inland that I would be giving it some of the old “whe’re yer for”, as I like to do whenever the occasion presents itself when sailing down the Blackwater. I could just make out the familiar top and mizzen masts with a sprinkling of brailed brown sail.
Even so the picture before me just didn’t look right. I’m so used to seeing the real thing that in the few moments it took to get closer I had gathered my thoughts and realized all was not what it seemed. After asking a few questions I found out that they were Renaissance and Judith, part of the London Borough of Haringey’s regeneration of the waterside here.
The two barges certainly add colour and interest to the wharf. Both barges are 25 metres long and were built by Manor Marine in Dorset. They were modelled on the local powder barges, (the Lady of the Lea was one of them), that once shifted munitions from Waltham Abbey to Woolwich Arsenal, and they give the look of an historic working boat but with the interior in keeping with modern needs to offer local businesses a rather unique office space.
Words and pictures by Tony Smith (Creek Sailor)