The barge owners and the sailing barge community do a gallant job of keeping these vessels maintained and in good seaworthy sailing condition, but there are times when this self preservation takes it toll on their personal pockets.
Trying to keep alive such a Great British icon and historical artefact, of a period when Great Britain was known as an Empire, the British Empire, is a mammoth task for the community alone to upkeep.
It needs help; public help. It needs sponsorship, advertising, grants and donations.
Prior to a chance meeting, I, Jonathan Fleming, was invited to look after a friend's new house boat (a 150 foot Dutch barge) which had three bedrooms, a lounge, an open plan kitchen and a bathroom/utility room.
I had never been on a personalised boat before and indeed knew nothing much about boats at all, so this was novel to me and given that the barge was moored in a working boatyard, there was plenty of fascinating sights to feed my imaginative mind.
The first thing that got my attention was the number of wooden boats that looked like projects in various stages of repair or restoration.
I had no problem with this, but it crossed my mind that each afternoon when I set out down the jetty and across the yard to the fields where I walked the dogs, activity on those projects I passed, was not very evident.
I expected to see lots of young apprentices and skilled boat builders working on these projects, but the yard didn’t seem to have much young blood about and I wanted to know why.
The reason for my concern here, was that the media had been reporting apprenticeships were lacking in the field of boat building, yet the work looked aplenty to me. I needed to question someone, but I didn’t know who.
Then the day came when I was able to pose that question thanks to the four dogs between us bringing me in front of the boatyard owners, Andy and Jane Harman, from whom my friends Dutch barge was brought.
We got talking about all the projects that were sitting in the yard and why new apprenticeships were not being taken up (all of which came down to funding — the lack of).
Then seeing that I expressed an interest in his industry, its welfare and establishing that I didn’t just see rubbish, Andy invited me to have a look at the project he was working on.
Next day I turned up to view what I learned was the sailing barge Edme, de-rigged and undergoing some heavy maintenance, we got talking more about the problem of funding such a project, but that, however, wasn’t Andy’s priority — he wanted someone to get under the barge and anti-foul it.
Although he knew I didn’t know anything about boats, barges or even sailing, he wondered what I was made of and offered a proposition.
“...Well, If you really want to know what this is all about and you get and do a good job on the anti-fouling, we’ll take you out sailing. You ain’t gonna understand any of it until you go out sailing. Come sailing with us and see what you think, then ”.
Intriguingly, I agreed, did my job and then some.
A few weeks later I was asked if I wanted to crew at the first race of the season in 2015, Medway.
I expected hordes of people watching from the shoreside and loads of boats (well, that’s what I thought they were at the time, but I address them properly now as Barges, specifically Thames Sailing Barges), all lined up ready to race.
The total wasn’t very many and in Edme’s class (Bowsprit), she was racing only one other — Adieu. I was shocked. Shocked for both the numbers that turned out shoreside to watch and shocked for the number of entries, however, you have to keep in mind I knew nothing about the world of boats, let-alone, Thames Sailing Barges, what they did or even that they were attached to an amateur sport because of what they used to do in their working days (the barges used to compete against each other, unofficially, to see who could pick up and drop off the most loads, which later turned into sporting barge matches that are part of their tradition to this day).
As far as I could tell, the event needed better publicity, more marketing and PR around it, but I reserved my hastened judgement for the next time.
I was told, the next match was going to be much better, better turn out, better race, more in our class and so on. The next match I went to was Pin Mill.
Yes the numbers were better, yes, there were more in our class, but again shoreside, the turnout was not really there.
By now I was starting to notice a real problem; shoreside viewing. Even if the crowds did turn out, they would only be limited to seeing the start and finish, the rest of the time the barges are way out to sea where no one can view them unless they were on some other vessel or that they were being televised in some way, which they weren't.
For most of the matches thereafter that I attended (Meadway, Pin Mill, Swale and Colne), that problem was pretty much what I saw.
In my mind I thought, “perhaps the lack of viewing public is part of the wider problem of funding”.
I couldn’t see major sponsorship coming in, unless they were able to get something out of it.
Given the limited exposure, it seemed that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Exposure… that is what I then turned my sights to and thought, “if something could happen where the public could have land access to easily see all of the barges while they were sailing, I think people would turn out for that...”, I held that thought for a bit, switched to another, which was to figure out where that could be done, then switched back again to continue on from where I left off, I came up with, “...London, that’s where you could do that, on the river Thames, but not a race, a parade”.
I asked Jane if there were any matches that were on the Thames and she said no, that there was a match called the Thames Match, but it wasn’t actually on the Thames any longer.
I asked why and was told in short, too many restrictions and other problems.
That to me became the challenge, to get the barges sailing up the Thames, through the Thames Barrier, into the Pool of London, past Tower Bridge, with its Bascule drawn up and further on up the river.
Putting that Idea to Jane she informed me that the barges could not go any further than the Upper Pool because of the low bridges (I didn’t even know what the Upper Pool was at the time — for those who don’t know either, Google ‘river Thames Upper Pool’), but if that was as far as the barges could go, for me, it was enough of the south and north bank where thousands of people could view from, to still pursue as an event.
I knew then that the only way for such to happen was to talk to officialdom and so I began my quest.
The first person I wrote to was the Mayor of London, then Her Majesty The Queen, then the PLA (Port of London Authority) and through this endeavour I got replies, enough to lead me to the one person I wanted to get to in the first place… pageant master of Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee Pageant 2012, his name: Adrian Evans.
Adrian Evans was of particular interest to me because he had already done something akin to what I wanted to do with the parade, so I wanted to find out from him how to do that or better still, do something with him. The latter persisted.
Here are the letters (warts and all, spelling or grammatical mistakes and incorrect terminology, until I learned better. The main thing was, the message was clear):
letter to the Port of London Authority. Though I never received a reply from PLA, we managed to see them later (upfront and personal, backdoor style) through that contact with Adrian Evans.
In my search to understand the leads I had been given, I read up on the fact that Adrian Evans headed up an event called Totally Thames which celebrates London’s river from the 1st-30th September with events galore, sponsored by the Mayor of London and promoted by Thames Festival Trust of which Adrian is the director.
But my search also revealed that this event had nothing to say of Thames Sailing Barges, yet the address of Thames Festival Trust is: Barge House, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH.
I had to get in contact with this man and find out if we could be included as one of his events and when I did, I was surprised at how fast the positive response was to my initial contact — just 7 Hours.
At that point, I knew we were onto something quite special and here with an established event known as The Thames Sailing Barge Parade.
Thames Sailing Barge Parade & Popup Museum
16th & 17th September 2017
Schedule - Confirmed.
Friday 15th September 2017
Saturday 16th September 2017 (Parade Day)
Tower Bridge Lifts at approx 12 Noon
Address: Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2AA
River Thames, City of London, Upper Pool.
Access dynamic map to TSB Parade Location
Vantage Points for Pictures at TSBP
Best vantage points for pictures when the barges arrive are:
London Bridge (gives front view of barges - looking down onto the whole parade with Tower Bridge in the background).
The banks around the Upper Pool:
South Bank (port view of barges - left side).
North Bank (starboard view of barges - right side)
Tower Bridge gives rear view of barges with ability to see the whole parade stemming the tide at London Bridge.
The barges are in the Upper Pool for some 30-40 minutes before they are turned by tug boats and head back out towards West India Dock. Best view of the tugs turning the barges is at London Bridge.
Best vantage points for pictures when the barges are leaving are from the banks if you want Tower Bridge in your shots.
South Bank (starboard view of barges - right side).
North Bank (port view of barges - left side).
Taking pictures from Tower Bridge as the barges leave will give you an overhead view of the barges down onto the decks. You will need a wide angle to get the whole barge in your shots.
Sunday 17th September 2017 (Popup Museum) 10am - 5pm
Address: Thames Quay, Marsh Wall, E14 9SG
Public Transport : South Quay DLR line
Access dynamic map to Popup Museum here
Last Updated 4th September 2017
This is now the fixed and confirmed schedule.
Here’s a little something about the attractions that will be at West India Dock compiled by Jane Harman.
Contact Jane for further information
Why will it be good for you to be updated anytime there is a development?
Well, that is because the development process is like a juggernaut, it's big, it's heavy and it moves seemingly slow, but if it hit you, you'd know about it.
No, in all seriousness, we encourage you to enter your details for notification updates, simply because they are far and few between, but when they do arrive, you will probably want to know about them and this will be the best way.
Just fill in the simple form with your name and email, that's it.
During the creation of this site we sought out most of the barge images through searches on the internet, we took the liberty of using these images without consent in the hope that the author would get in touch and make themselves known so that we could ask for permission.
The images we used were mainly because we could not find anything to do with copyright, but we do know copyright in a photograph automatically belongs to its author, regardless.
We did this calculating that the Thames Sailing Barge community is very small, but one where everyone knows everyone, and so we expect at some point to be made aware of the true authors of those images we are using without yet having full permission to do so.
If you are an author of any image shown on this site please contact us and let us know if we can or can not use your image, and we are more than happy to give you, your moral right by tagging your name to your image as well as link to your own website if you have one.
If not, and it is your request, then we will remove your image immediately and please accept our sincere apology for assuming that you would not have minded helping the Thames Sailing Barge community to thrive and survive by generating public awareness for its charitable cause.
To those wishing to use images from this site, unless we have permission from the author to give you an image, we are terribly sorry, but we can not offer them to you for use in whatever nature that may be, as we have taken a chance to await the author's permission of use ourselves.
If you recognise any image on this site as belonging to a person you know, please let them know we are using their picture and ask them to contact us so we can get their full permission of use or perform an immediate removal if that is the case.
That's it, the 2017 parade and popup museum event is over now until 2019.
The event will officially become biannual, as it takes a lot of time to organise with little recovery to get over the last before starting the next.
Donations are welcome, the foundation is always in need of funding.
Please donate what you can, if you can, but if you can't, encourage a friend or colleague to support the organisation and tell them why they should by pointing them here: WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE.
The accounts for 2016 & 2017 are in and can be viewed at this address: TSBFCharity.com/accounts/
Lastly, here is an article written by Charity Needs Foundation about the event:
A CNF Feature Article
Sailing Barges Kitty being pushed around by Livett’s tug boat. Livett donated their services to the event last year and did so again in 2017
Picture by: Nigel Pepper (nigelpepperphotography.co.uk)
Thank you all.
Jonathan Fleming (TSBP Founder)
With additional thanks from the core TSBF team
Gary Diddhams (Parade Master) & Jane Harman (Head Organiser)
We can offer a sponsor logos or bands to be flown on one, many or all of the barges using pennants or flags depending on the sponsorship,
There can be one pennant and one flag on each barge and locationing of these items on the barges can be negotiated with safety borne in mind that the PLA may enforce.
Your brand will be seen by thousands on the bank-sides and millions through visual media such as television, print such as newspapers and magazines and digital media online. We can also mention our sponsor through audio media such as radio where agreed with the station.
With television we will not have control of how much your logo is seen, but it is safe to say that if your sponsorship attains a place on all the barges, it will be seen on television.
With print media we will be able to follow any article with our sponsor’s logo and in special circumstances, we may be able to incorporate our sponsor into the article itself with a few lines.
Not in all cases will we be able to do this and will let you know if we can before your decision to sponsor us.
Our sponsor’s pennant or flag will stand out slightly from the other pennants and flags which will be those awarded to the barges for their wins and achievements at barge matches or for other special occasions and such like.
Advertising opportunities for a sponsor through media comes with every article and editorial that we get published before and after the event. There will be pre-buildup of editorials sent to a list of newspapers and magazines so that they all know of the impending event.
Some will take the editorial as is and run with it, other will want to form their own write ups.
We will push further editorials onto the media to generate articles that speak of the event’s success after the parade has finished.
Either way, we will be generating public awareness, directing them to our website and presenting footage of the event for years ahead.
Advertising opportunities for a sponsor through our shoreside event comes in a variety of offerings at West India Dock:
Any sponsorship pennants, flags, logos etc can be displayed within the marquee and surrounding areas as well as on the barges. It is up to the sponsor to supply their flags and/or pennants or arrange with TSBP organisers to get them made in time. Two weeks before the event is tightest deadline we can allow..
Sunday 17th September 2017:
Sponsors can have their branding seen on small sandwich boards or sponsored info boards about the barges attached to railings alongside barges. The cost of doing so has to be borne by the sponsor outside of the agreed sponsor funding for the parade.
Sponsors will be allowed to setup as stall holders too after a discussion of pitch and placement.
We can approach a particular barge owner if a sponsor would like to hold a static or corporate event on a barge, but this too will be a separate costing negotiated directly with the barge owner.
These are all separate opportunities where sponsors can get involved, but again, they carry extra costs.
Model Barges sailing about the dock with local Sea cadets available to rescue.
We are still awaiting confirmation from the model barge community if a sponsor can have a barge built for them or if a sponsor can have a pennant (model size of course) flying in the dockside demonstrations.
You can see a the model barges in action through the following video link. This was just a relaxing day out for the model makers, but on the day, it will be just as competitive as the barge matches the real barges see all season. Here’s a preview of the models in action.
Fun opportunities to be confirmed is our ability to collect donations from the banks during the parade and we are hoping to offer T-Shirts for sale during this time as an inaugural memento of the parade. Sponsors can support this with the pledge of a small number of T-Shirts that can carry their logos along with an illustration of a parade of barges.
Photo opportunities of the event will be taken all along the river of every barge. These will be made freely available on our website for media to use at anytime for articles they wish to write about the event or a particular barge at the event.
As a sponsor, your visibility will be seen many years down the line and be a part of history.
We encourage a sponsor to tell their own audiences about the event and to come and enjoy a family day out.
In advertising terms, the publicity would run into hundreds of thousands of column space pounds for a fraction of what you will invest in funding our event.
We implore you to get in involved, this is an event we don't want you to miss.
Please contact Jane Harman for details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 07803 230 258
This film was produced for the first ever TSBP event in 2016, by Alan Cooper, who was introduced to the founder, Jonathan Fleming, by the then owner of Sailing Barge Kitty, Roger Marriott.
It is a full length feature film (in internet terms), around 40 minutes, so set aside the time to watch it.
ADIEU of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - plain light blue)
Official No.161035. Tons: 79. Built steel at Mistley 1929 for M.F.Horlock & Co.Ltd. Latterly working in the ballast trade, she was converted 1990 for use as a restaurant / club. Now a private yacht owned by Iolo Brooks based in St.Katharines Yacht Haven.
ALICE of Rochester, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' in - blue G on yellow ground)
Official No.UNKNOWN. Tons: 57. Built of steel at Wivenhoe 1954 by J.W. Cook for Hubbocks as a swim headed lighter. Owned by Wrightson & Sons Ltd. Converted in 1997 by Owen Emerson and registered under S.S.R.No.68024. Sold 2002 to Sean Jacobs . Sold 2005 to Alan Gick(Alice 4 Charters). Based Portsmouth.
ARCTIC of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.108277. Tons: ?. built 1897 at Greenwich by J. Rennie for Harry Keep of London. 68 Reg Tons, Dims: 78.6 X 19.1 X 4.8ft. topsail barge of steel construction. Sold by Keep to London and Rochester Barge Company. She was converted in 1907, using a Dann engine, to the first full power barge on the Thames and Medway. She was almost completely derigged except for a small mizzen sail to comply with the then current Board of Trade regulations. In 1913 the sails were removed and the Dann engine was replaced with an unknown 76 h.p. unit Worked as a motor barge from 1908 to 1963 before being converted to a house barge, moored at Allington. Moored at Fulham 1988 to 2001. Refurbished 2008/9 at Brentford & moved to Bembridge I.O.W.
ARDWINA of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' has - Red 'A' & Navigational dividers on 3 blue horizontal bands on white ground). Has "Rolfe Judd"in topsail.
Official No.129016. Tons: 66. Built of wood at Ipswich in 1909 by W.H. Orvis. 85. x 21.1 x 6.4, for E.J. & W.Goldsmith of Grays, Other owners: sold 1938 to Metcalf Ltd. London. 1941 Ocean Salvage, Gravesend. 1942 T.J.Metcalf , Gravesend. 1950 Daniels Bros & L. Vandersyde of Whitstable. 1950 Daniels Bros & M. Blyth. 1959 as a yacht Brian Herve. 1961 G.Newman of Maldon. 1966 J.Hunt & R. Hogben. 1971 J. Hunt. early 70's Porter. c'1980 Rolfe Judd Practice (Ardwina Ltd.) Rebuilt 1982. Last barge built at Ipswich. Based St.Katharines Yacht Haven.
ARDWINA 's Website
ATRATO of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - 2 lemon diamonds on black ground)
Official No.110037. Tons: 63. Built of steel by Forrestt of Wivenhoe in 1898 84.4 x 18.6 x 6, rebuilt 1945 by Pollocks. Owned by Hughes and L.R.B.C. Converted to motorbarge and sold out of trade, Owned since 1985 by Rupert Ashmore based Battersea.
BERIC of Harwich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - dark blue & white halves with white P in green disc on white half)
Official No.105421. Tons: 63. Built of wood at Harwich in 1896 by Cann. Owners, Cranfield Brothers Ltd ended working life as motorbarge between Tilbury Grain Terminal and Rochford Mills in 1977, Bought 1978 by Stan Cresswell and Roy Woods and rerigged at Ipswich. Used by Steven Young for receptions in Millwall Dock sold 1999 and moved to Newcastle. Returned to Maldon 2003 owned by Ray & Ben Payne. Based St.Katharines Yacht Haven. For Sale 2010.
Beric is currently for sale at Hollowshore for £1. In urgent need of help
BETULA of Ipswich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' -plain red )
Official No.SSR No 87565. Tons: ?. Ex Maartelaasgracht built of steel by Gideon of Groningen, Holland in 1924 as motor sailing bulk cement carrier. Counter stern replaced 1997 by owner skipper Eddie Smith, now 77’5”x17’8” based Pin Mill. For Sale 2010.
Possibilty that she has been sold for a houseboat
CABBY of Rochester, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - plain white C on plain red ground. ) Dark grey lower hull with black wale.
Official No.160687. Tons: 76. The last full size barge built of wood at Rochester in 1928 by Gill for London & Rochester Barge Company. Aux. Kelvin 66 fitted, worked as motorbarge with grain, animal feeds and other bulk cargoes, before rerigging 1970 as Company charter barge to replace Sirdar. Owners became part of Hays plc, and sold 2002 to Andrea Grieg, Marine Events Management Ltd, sold 2006 to Gary Zimmerman. 2007 owned Charles McLaren. Charter barge thro Sailing Barge Cabby Ltd, based Maldon. (Mizzen sail had Web Address in 2009.)
Recently sold 2017, sale details unknown.
CAMBRIA of London, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' has four colours in triangular quarters, red blue, green and white.)
Official No.120676. Tons: 79. Built of wood at Greenhithe by Wm. Eberhardt in 1906 Had wheelhouse & was mulie rigged. Last sailing barge trading under sail. Owned by Cambria Trust from 1996. Moved from Dolphin Yard Museum , Sittingbourne to Sheerness Docks in lighter 2006. Moved to Faversham for restoration 2007.Completed 2011.
Cambria's Video - Bob Roberts
Cambria's Video - Shortly After Restoration
CELTIC of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.118314. Tons: ?. Built 1903 at Papendrecht, Holland by J.Kievets & Van Reede for E.J. & W Goldsmith of Grays, 120 Reg Tons, Dims: 90.0 X 23.2 X 9.0 ft. Steel Connstruction, spritsail rigged, Other owners include Ministry of Transport (1941), Vectis Shipping, Archie Sheaf of Newport I.O.W. and L. George. Motor barge conversion 1941. Last used as a workshop at Dolphin Yard Museum, still there 2010 almost derelict.
CENTAUR of Harwich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - Gold wheel on red & black ground)
Official No.99460. Tons: 61. Built of wood at Harwich in 1895 by Cann, 85.6 x 19.5 x 6.2. Owners, Charles Stone, c.1900 Dolly Rogers, 1911 Ted Hibbs, 1915 John Sawyer, then Francis & Gilders and L.R.T.C. In 1955 she was derigged by Brown & Co. for use as a timber lighter. Bought in 1966 by Richard Duke to rerig as a charterbarge she was sold in 1974 to the Thames Barge S.C. for members sailing. Rebuilt 1984-95, Owner now Thames Sailing Barge Trust. Based at Maldon.
CYGNET of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - plain red)
Official No.84028. Tons: 16. Very small working barge built with a single hold at Frindsbury of wood in 1881 by Curel and owned by Walter Wrinch of Ewarton. Later owners Payne, and Mica Brown who refitted her as a private yacht . Reverted to tiller steering and had mizzen stepped on rudder post from 2005 under Mica Brown and Des Kaliszewski. Based at Snape Maltings.
DAWN of Maldon, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob'- Plain dark blue)
Official No.105902. Tons: 54. Built of wood at Maldon by Cook. Owned DAWN Sailing Barge Trust.. Moved from Hoo to Maldon 1999. To Heybridge 2002 for restoration (aided by lottery grant). Hull re-launched 2007 - rerigging completed 2008. moved to Pin Mill 2009.
She is now based in Maldon . Wheel removed and now put back to her original tiller steering
DECIMA of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - 2 dark blue horizontal bands, with black 'G' in gold on central horiz.band.)
Official No.110055. Tons: 67. Built by Fay of steel at Southampton in 1899, 85 x 18 for E.J. & W. Goldsmith Ltd. Owned by Rayfield then Greenhithe Lighterage Co. Ltd as a motorbarge. Rerigged as charterbarge by D.Wildish , sold1999 to Jeremy Taunton, sold 2003 to Tim Goldsack. Based Heybridge. ( White 'Tiptree' emblem in topsail)
Recently sold (2017) and works done by new owner David Leal. Moored at greenwich yacht Club during the summer months
EDITH MAY of Harwich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - White ' 'wheatear'emblem in dark blue disc on light blue ground. )
Official No.116180. Tons: 64. Built of wood at Harwich in 1906 by Cann. Owned by G.F.Sully she traded until 1961 as motorbarge. Rerigged by Vernon Harvey she had many successful races. Moved to Liverpool Docks, she returned to the East Coast 1990 and is now based Halstow owned by Geoff Gransden. Undergoing restoration 2005. Active 2010.
EDITH MAY's Website
EDME of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - White 'H' on red background.)
Official No.105425. Tons: 50. Built of wood at Harwich in 1898 by Cann and owned by F.W.Horlock. Derigged for use as a lighter 1949 by Brown & Co. Lengthy restoration at Maldon before being bought by the Harman-Harrison Consortium, rerigged as bowsprit barge 1992. Owned by EDME Consortium. Still has no engine. Based at St.Osyth. (has white EDME in topsail)
ENA of Ipswich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - White cross on red ground. White cross in topsail)
Official No.122974. Tons: 73. Built of wood at Harwich in 1906 by W.B.McLearon, 88.2 x 20.6 x 6.9, auxiliary Ruston 80 engine installed she was reregistered as a motorbarge in 1949. Rerigged by her only owners then R & W Paul Ltd in 1973 for their Social Club.; recognizable by her mulie rig and the white X in her topsail. Sold 2000 to Luke Deards of Hoo. Major refit 2001-
Now Sadly sunk at Hoo
ETHEL ADA of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - white lifebelt emblem on dark green ground.)
Official No.118352. Tons: 49. Built of wood at Paglesham in 1903 by Shuttlewood 82 x 19.1 x 5.4. Owned by G. & A. Underwood, Coal Merchants, Southend, Samuel West Ltd in ballast work and by the Successors to T.F.Wood - I.C.I. Ltd in the explosives trade. Sold 1958 to Duke & Allan; 1970 to Geoff Mellor. Refitted Pin Mill, 1999 for new owner Oliver Price. Based Community Moorings, Wapping. (Topsail has white disc emblem)
ETHEL ADA's Website
ETHEL MAUD of Maldon, STAYSAIL Class UNSTATED
Official No.96483. Tons: 45. Built of wood at Maldon in 1889 by Howard. Owners, John Parker of Bradwell. Sold c.1910 to James Keeble; used as a motorbarge by Green Brothers '51 Lost topmast 1959 but carried fore and mains'l until 1963 when laid up. Rerigged as a residential yacht by B.Metherill at Hoo. latterly owned by David Maude, Michael McInnerley,moved to Dolphin Yard, 1997, 2001 sold for restoration to Garry Diddams, 2004 at Shoregate on the Medway. Continuing 2010.
Ongoing lovingly restored by Garry Diddams
ETHEL MAUD's Website
FELIX of Ipswich, STAYSAIL Class UNSTATED
Official No.97686. Tons: 68. Built of wood at Harwich in 1893 by Cann 82.3 x 19.8 x 6.8. Owned by Robert Smith, sold 1930 to Cranfield Bros. Became a motorbarge in 1954 in ownership of Lapthorn & Co. of Hoo. Sold out of trade in 1972 and rerigged by Patrick Law. Owned from1976 by Sarah Roberts, then Kevin Symonds at St.Katharines and sold 1998 to Robert Deards. At Hoo for refitting 2004. Moved to Hoo Saltings 2008.
FERTILE of UNKNOWN, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - brown eagle with yellow barge on dark blue ground.)
Official No.SSR No 65378. Tons: 65. Built 1936 as a steel swim headed lighter. Converted to a swim headed stumpy rigged spritsailed barge by owner Steve Brotherhood 1996. Based Colchester, Hythe.
Currently for sale (2017)
GEORGE SMEED of Rochester, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.84430. Tons: 59. Built of wood at Murston in 1882 by Smeed Dean & Co.Ltd for their own use passing to A.P.C.M., Francis & Gilders and Browns for lighterage. Rebuilt 1922 at 64 ton, later housebarge at Heybridge. rebuilt Maldon and awaiting rerigging by owner Ken Greenhalgh. Continuing 2009.
She has was rigged during 2017 barge season
GEORGE SMEED's Website
GLADYS of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' -green,orange & gold triangular.)
Official No.109882. Tons: 68. Built at Harwich of wood in 1901 by Cann, 84 x 20.6. Owned until 1973 by Cranfield Brothers Ltd. Rerigged 1974 for use as a company yacht by Mardorf Peach Ltd. Owned by Allied Mills. new transom 2003. Based at St.Katharines /Heybridge Basin. ('Kingsmill' emblem in topsail)
Soon to have a complete restoration 2017/18
Glays Holding Up A President
GLENWAY of Rochester, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.127260. Tons: 82. Built of wood at Rochester in 1913 by Little. Owned by John Wilks of Deal, later Samuel West,. Crossley engine installed in 1975. Houseboat at Otterham, rerigged at Ipswich by Steve Barry but abandoned at Maldon, Recovered by G.Reeve and sold to Hugh Poore 1988 who undertook her rebuilding at Dolphin Yard, Sittingbourne. Sold to Topsail Charters of Maldon 2002 . Barge hull sold 2007 to David Fennell for complete rebuild. Continuing 2010 at Maylandsea.
GRETA of Colchester, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' -red 'N' on black & gold ground.)
Official No.98324. Tons: 46. Built of wood at Brightlingsea in 1892 by Stone 80 x 18.7 x 5.6. and owned by the L.R.B.C. Converted to motor barge in C'51. Rerigged Allington by Tony Ryan. owner Steve Norris Chartering, Whitstable. Based Faversham. (Topsail has white 'shepherds crook' and mains'l has white 'SHEPHERD NEAME, BREWER, FAVERSHAM.)
HENRY of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - Swallowtail with white central horizontal band on on dark blue ground. Green transom.)
Official No.118381. Tons: 44. Built of wood at Goldsmiths yard Grays in 1904 by A.White. 76.3 x 18.1 x 5.1, and owned by Cole and Lecquire Ltd. Rebuilt by Wills & Packham 1944 and Bought out of trade in 1948 by Arthur Bennett. Derigged as housebarge at Twinney, later refitted at Sittiingbourne by Steve Downer and sold 1998 to Justin Ford . Major refit 2003. Based Faversham .
HYDROGEN of London, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' -green, red & white)
Official No.123640. Tons: 98. Built of wood at Rochester in 1906 by Gill. Owners Burt, Boulton & Heywood George Andrews of Sittingbourne and later G.F.Sully. She circumnavigated Great Britain for Bells Whisky and became charterbarge owned by Blackwater Barge Co. Charter barge through Topsail Charters. Based Maldon
IRONSIDES of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - Swallowtail with 'tower' emblem on blue ground)
Official No.112710. Tons: 78. 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 as motorbarge in 1938 and traded to northern France. Sold to Alan Reekie 1968 to rerig at Brentford she became a successful racing and charterbarge. Now owned by Mark Tower, based at Maldon / St Katherines. undergoing refit at Standard Quay Faversham from 2003.
KITTY of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' -white star on red ground. White star in topsail. Green hull.)
Official No.105418. Tons: 65. Built of wood at Harwich in 1895 by Cann. Owned by Horatio F.Horlock, sold in 1933 to Francis & Gilders and passed to L.R.T.C. then used as timber lighter by Brown & Co before being sold to Maldon Yacht & Barge Charter Co. Ltd to be rerigged in 1964. With a six pointed white star in her topsail under John Fairbrother became notable racer. Owned by Roger Marriott . Based Maldon.
Sold by Roger Marriot 2017 to Annie and Kevin
LADY DAPHNE of Rochester, COASTING Class ('Bob' - blue & red. )
Official No.127276. Tons: 85. Built of wood at Rochester in 1923 by Short Bros. 90.3x21.4x7.3, Auxilliary Ruston 100 engine installed in 1948, gear removed 1958 and used as a motor barge by her owners R & W Paul Ltd. Sold in 1973 to Taylor Woodrow Ltd and rerigged C'74 at Maldon. Sold to Michael and Elisabeth Mainelli 1996. Charter Barge though Nymph Ltd. London. Based at St.Katharine Docks. (White 'Z' in topsail.)
Sold by the Elisabeth and Michael Manelli to Sam and Andy Howe.
Currently undergoing extensive refurbishment In Oare Creek by Tim Goldsack
LADY DAPHNE's Website
LADY JEAN of Rochester, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - white 'W' on red ground.)
Official No.148366. Tons: 86. Built of wood at Rochester in 1923 by Short Bros.91.2 x 21.6 x 7.5. Aux. Ruston 100 installed 1948 but removed 1958 by R. & W.Paul Ltd. Renamed Sir Alan Herbert by East Coast Sail Trust for youth sail training. Bought by Iden & Sheena Wickings for a barge yacht and reverted to her original name. Owned Steve Morrison from 2008. Staysail Mulie with half wheelhouse. Based at Maldon.
Recently moved to St Osyth - currently up for sale
LADY JEAN's Website
LADY OF THE LEA of Dover, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - plain red. Has white emblem, barge inside castle emblem, all inside double circle in topsail )
Official No.722956. Tons: ?. Built of wood at Rotherhithe in 1931 by Hyam & Oliver for the War Department for carriage of explosives from Waltham Abbey, 23 ton. 72' by 13' and was originally tiller steered and stumpy rigged. Sold to W.Aslett 1946, Owned by Brian Pain as private yacht barge, registered at Dover, Based Standard Quay, Faversham,
LADY OF THE LEA's Website
MARJORIE of Ipswich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - lemon & black quarters with lemon 'D' & '108' on black quarters (age in 2010)
Official No.113753. Tons: 56. Built of wood at Ipswich in 1902 by Orvis, 84 x 19.3 x 6.2 for R. & W. Paul Ltd. Owned 1961 by A.J.O'Shea as charterbarge later by Albert Groom. Dark grey hull with varnished transom and owned by Simon Devonshire. Changed to Staysail 2010. Changed to Bowsprit class 2011. Based at Hoo overwinters at St Katherines.
MAY of Ipswich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - blue & white horizontal stripes. )
Official No.97680. Tons: 57. Built of wood at Harwich in 1891 by Cann for Cranfield Bros Ltd of Ipswich. Sold in 1964 to Silvertown Services Ltd (Tate & Lyle) for occasional trade under sail and company charter barge. Light blue transom. Based at Pin Mill. (White 'TATE & LYLE' in topsail. )
Now owned by Gerald Gadd
MELISSA of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' -cream/red/cream horizontal stripes.)
Official No.110078. Tons: 67. Built of steel by J.G. Fay at Southampton 1899 for E.J. & W.Goldsmith of Grays. Acquired by L.R.T.C. converted to motor barge 1944. House Barge 1975. Owned by Jonathan & Richard Webb. Under restoration 2000 - 2008. Sailing again 13th July 2009 and competed in, and won her class in the Pin Mill Sailing Clubs 48th Annual Barge Match and gained a creditable 2nd behind Edme in the same years Colne Match.
MIROSA of Maldon, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - lemon Tudor rose on blue ground.)
Official No.96488. Tons: 49. Built as the Ready at Maldon in 1892 by John Howard. owned by Charles Gutteridge of Vauxhall later W.W.Keeble. Name changed in 1947. Owned by Francis & Gilders, used as timber lighter at Heybridge, sold to Claude Deval who organised her rerigging in 1965, Owned by Peter Dodds. She was sponsored by Blue Circle becoming one of the most successful racing barges of recent years. Still has no motor. Based at the Iron Wharf, Faversham.
She had her 125th Birthday (2017) and celebrated 40 years ownership by Pete and Sally Dodds.
NELLIE of Faversham, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' -plain emerald green )
Official No.114452. Tons: 43. Built of wood at Faversham by Cremer in 1901. Owned by Daniels 1950, later by Lapthorn, Motorbarge from 1952. Rebuilt Twickenham 1985 and completed Cooks, Maldon 1994, stumpy rigged, 1996. Owner Prof. Diane Montgomery. Stumpy rigged. Based Maldon.
NIAGARA of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.108373. Tons: 79. Built by Forrestt at Wivenhoe in 1898. 86.7 X 20.6 X 6.7. MB 1924 LRTC. Restoration project at Battersea 1970. Sold to Deptford Community Centre and 2001 to Peter Sands, moved to Hoo for restoration. Continuing 2010.
Niagara has been fully restored and regularly raced by Pete Sands and Robert Deards winning 2016 championship
ORINOCO of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - plain dark green)
Official No.104862. Tons: 70. Built of wood at East Greenwich in 1895 by Hughes and owned by Mason, later Cranfield Bros. Aux Ruston 80 fitted. Sold to L.Tester and rerigged at Hollowshore '70's. Stranded ashore she was refitted 1990 as a private yacht. Owner Geoffrey Ingle. Restored 2004. Based at Faversham.
New keelson by owner ‘Frog’ in 2016/17
PHOENICIAN of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - blue, gold, red & white.)
Official No.146700. Tons: 81. Built of wood at Sittingbourne 1922 by Wills & Packham. Owners include E.A.Horlock, and R.Sully converted to a motor barge in 1949 she traded until 1973 when she was sold out of trade to Albert Groom for chartering & community purposes based at Ipswich. Moved to West India Docks then to Pin Mill and Maldon for restoration under sail 1998, owner Grant Littler. Based St. Katharines.
PORTLIGHT of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class UNSTATED
Official No.145405. Tons: 68. Built of steel at Mistley in 1925 by Horlock. Converted to motorbarge by Greenhithe Lighterage but rerigged by Lawrie Tester as bowsprit barge based at Hollowshore near Faversham, sold end 2001 to Landbreach Ltd of Maldon for major refit. Continuing 2009.
In 2017 she was laying at Heybridge Creek. Not rigged.
PUDGE of Rochester, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - has gold 'wheel' emblem on red & black ground.)
Official No.127274. Tons: 67. Built of wood at Frindsbury 1922 by London & Rochester 82.4 x 21 x 6.8 (overall 84 x 24) as a bowsprit barge. Auxilliary 2 cylinder Kelvin petrol parafin engine installed 1931 replaced by 3 cylinder Bargus Co. (Kelvin) engine 1935. Bought out of trade as a twin hatched motor barge by Thames Barge Sailing Club and rerigged 1968 for members sailing. Engine replaced by Bedford 8.2 litre diesel 1991. Major refit 2004/7. Owner now Thames Sailing Barge Trust. Based Maldon.
From 2017, extensive refurbishment over the past few years - regularly sails.
RAYBEL of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' in 2004 - white 'H' on dark blue ground.)
Official No.145058. Tons: 80. Built of wood at Sittingbourne 1920 by Wills & Packham for G.F.Sully. Aux Kelvin 88 engine installed 1939. Sold out of trade, rerigged at Pin Mill. Owned Ian Houston. Charter barge with Topsail Events & Charters 2008. Laying at Heybridge Basin Winter 2012-13.
REMINDER of Harwich , STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - green, red & white.)
Official No.161033. Tons: 79. Built of steel at Mistley in 1929 by Horlock and owned by Fred Horlock. Rerigged as charter barge by Roger Beckett of Anglian Yacht Services for chartering out of Maldon Owned by Reminder (1929) Ltd Managed by Topsail Charters. Off white hull, Based Maldon.
REPERTOR of Harwich, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - white fish (Pollock) emblem with black 'P' on red
Hull - red-oxide boot-topping, transom and rails; dark-blue/black topsides).
Official No.145404. Tons: 69. Built of steel at Mistley in 1924 by Horlock owned by M.R.Horlock.
Derigged and converted to motor tanker barge, she was sold out of trade to G.Reeve. Houseboat Battersea, rerigged by C.McLaren in 1978.
Owned by David & Elaine Pollock since 1986.
Now based at and chartered from Faversham Reach, on Faversham Creek.
SCONE of Rochester, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.127269. Tons: ?. Built of wood, at Rochester in 1919 by Gill for L.R.T.Co. Unrigged 09/1957. 1977 bought by Steve Mallet and re rigged. 1990's Converted to a restaurant in West India Dock for David Ireland. Sunk in 2000, raised and moved to Barking Creek. 2004 owned by J.C. Royer. Sold 07/2004 & Laid up Benfleet Creek.
SCOTSMAN of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.110106. Tons: ?. Built of wood at Sittingbourne by Wills & Packham in 1899. Owned by Rita Bowran as a houseboat at Stargate Marina, Hoo. 2007 hulked Hoo Saltings.
SEAGULL II of London, STAYSAIL Class UNSTATED
Official No.161348. Tons: ?. Built of wood, 43.2 x 13.1 x 4.8., at Rochester in 1901 by Gill for the War Department Owned by G. Winfield as a yacht before becoming an architectural feature on Free Trade Wharf Wapping 1988. Sold 1999 for restoration at Gillingham by Neil Pemble. Continuing 2010.
SEAGULL II's Website
THALATTA of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' in 2004 - white 'ECST' on red ground)
Official No.116179. Tons: 67. Built of wood at Harwich in 1906 by W.B.McLearon 88.9x20.6x 7.1., bought by F.W.Horlock and rigged as boomie. Sold 1917 to Wynfield Shipping Co. of Grimsby who fitted an engine which was removed on sale to Capt.Body in 1923. Later owned by R & W Paul Ltd. aux. Ruston 80 installed 1948. Owners East Coast Sail Trust for youth sail training out of Maldon. Major rebuild /refit at St Osyth 2005. Rerigged and sailing again from March 2012. Based Maldon.
THISTLE of London, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' in 2004 - green, red & white.)
Official No.105727. Tons: 82. Built of steel at Port Glasgow in 1895 by Hamilton. and traded with H.Covington & L.R.T.C.with Kelvin auxilliary installed 1948. Housebarge at Battersea, rerigged Greenwich 1988 by C.Maclaren 2001 Owned Thistle (1895) Ltd. Charter barge with Topsail Charters Ltd. Maldon. Half wheelhouse. Based Ipswich. Overwinters at Maldon.
TOLLESBURY of Ipswich, STAYSAIL Class UNSTATED
Official No.110315. Tons: 70. Built of wood at Sandwich in 1901 by H.Felton, 84.2 x 20.4 x 6.6. Owners, Fisher, bought by R & W Paul Ltd 1912. Motorbarge '50. sold as a yacht by '65 and housebarge at Pin Mill '78. Rebuilt Ipswich Dockend 1992 , moved to London, Owned by David Paling as a Bar Millwall Dock. For sale 2004. Sunk at her berth Sept 2005, raised laid up Fresh Wharf Estate, Barking Creek 2010.
VICTOR of London, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - green & white horizontal bands)
Official No.105762. Tons: 56. Built of wood at Ipswich in 1895 by Shrubsall 82.2 x 20.3 x 6. Owned by Owen Parry for cotton seed from London to Colchester returning with oil in barrels for paint. War service as an ammunition store,became a motorbarge in 1947 for L.R.T.C. until 1964. Rerigged 1974 by Owen Emerson, Sold to Nick Briggs for charters in Solent 1995. Sold 2006 to Steve Goodwin & Tony Chancellor , charter barge through Classic Yacht Charters Ltd., Norwich. Based Mistley (white SB VICTOR in mainsail)
VIGILANT of Harwich, STAYSAIL Class UNSTATED
Official No.116176. Tons: 73. Built of wood at Ipswich in 1904 by Orvis & Fuller. Owned by Alfred Horlock and converted to a yacht in 1932. Sold back into trade and converted to motor barge by Whiting Bros. Passed to L.R.T.C. Owned by Dawes, Thomas and Martin. as private barge yacht until sold to Ms. Lynn Johnson & Graham Head late 1997 and now based at Woodbridge, Suffolk. moved to St Osyth 2004. Sold and moved to Topsham Devon 2012.
Vigilant's BBC News Restoration Video
VIOLET of Maldon, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.96482. Tons: 45. Built of wood at Maldon by Howard in 1899. Owned by Robert Boakes based at Brambletree Wharf, by the New Medway Bridge. (Located in a steel lighter 2010).
WESTMORELAND of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.112733. Tons: 43. Built Conyer 1900 by White, 79 x 17.1 x 5. for Eastwood Ltd, the brickmakers who donated her to the Thames Barge Sailing Club in 1963. Wrecked at Hoo 1973 she was acquired by Colin Frake. Rebuilding at Faversham. Continuing 2010.
Now owned by the Gransdens /trust moored in a lighter in Halstow creek
WHIPPET of London, UNSTATED ('Bob' -white OE on blue ground - green transom)
Official No.SR No; 10246. Tons: 29.5. Built London 1905 by Humphrey & Grey as a steel bonded spirit barge (unrigged) Converted to swim headed, tiller steered, gaff rigged sailing barge by Reg Coombes.mid 70's.Sold to Owen Emerson 2002 for conversion to spritsal barge with wheel steering, straight stern and aux. engine. Based Lower Upnor.
WILFRED of London, UNSTATED UNSTATED
Official No.149696. Tons: 98. Built of steel at East Greenwich by Piper in 1926. Converted to a wine bar 1984. Sailing gear removed 1993. Now a static night club at Victoria Embankment, near Waterloo Bridge.
WILL of Maldon, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - white tower emblem on dark blue ground.)
Official No.148677. Tons: 150. Built of steel at Yarmouth in 1925 by Fellows as the Will Everard for F.T.Everard & Co. Ltd. Sold as motorbarge out of trade and rerigged. Owners, V.S.Harvey, 1966; J.R.Hobbins, 1971; Overseas Containers Ltd (P & O) 1977 and sold 1998 to skipper Sue Harrison. Sold to Mark Towers 2004 Mule rigged yacht barge, blue hull. Based St Katherines.
She is based at West India Dock.
WYVENHOE of London, STAYSAIL Class ('Bob' - red & white horizontal bands)
Official No.110012. Tons: 83. Built of steel at Wivenhoe by Forrestt & in 1898. Owned in trade by L.R.T.C. Rerigged as company yacht barge by R.Walsh, Wyvenhoe (London) Ltd. Now operated as a charter barge by Tradsail Charters Ltd. (A subsidiary of The Lawrite Group) from any London base required. http://wyvenhoe.co.uk
XYLONITE of Harwich, BOWSPRIT Class ('Bob' - White stars & tree emblem on dark blue ground.)
Official No.145408. Tons: 68. Built of steel at Mistley 1926 by F.W.Horlock to be named BX. Latterly owned by Greenhithe Lighterage she was rerigged by Tim Eliff as a charter barge and based at The Prospect of Whitby, P.H., Wapping. Sold to Cirdan Trust 1985 for sail training out of Maldon. Sold 2007.to Rebecca Polden & Alan Wilkes. Based Maylandsea. ('Avocet' emblem & Suffolk Life in topsail )
Currently (2017) owned by Tim Kent, used for film work and now in Limehouse Basin, London for sale as a potential house boat.
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When the barges are back from the parade and moored at West India Docks, the public will be treated to more shoreside entertainment at our hospitality area there, with to-scale 'Model - Thames Sailing Barges', in a model barge match.
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Model Barges's Website
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If you know anything about Her Majesty The Queen and you saw her extraordinary Jubilee Pageant in 2012, then you are closer to knowing Totally Thames than you think.
Totally Thames is run by Thames Festival Trust and the director of that trust is, none other than, the pageant master to The Queen's Jubilee Pageant 2012, Adrian Evans.
In the month of September, Totally Thames celebrates London’s river from the 1st-30th with events galore. Adrian Evans wants to revitalise people’s passion for the river and make it a theatre again, as it once was, which is why we are going to help him do that with the Thames Sailing Barge Parade.
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