2017 Thames Sailing Barge Matches

Dates for the 2017 Thames Sailing Barge Matches are as follows:

       Medway Match: Sat 3 June

Blackwater Match: Sat 17 June

Passage Match: Sat 24 June

Pin Mill Match: Sat 1 July

Thames Match: Sat 15 July

Swale Match: Sat 29 July

Whitstable Match: Sat 5 Aug

Southend Match: Sat 27 August

Colne Match: Sat 2 September

Pudge or Centaur will be sailing in 6 of these matches: Medway, Blackwater, Pin Mill, Swale, Southend and Colne.

To book your place on board, contact David Gibson on 07840 862685 or email crewing@bargetrust.org

Photo: Blackwater Match 2014 by Mick Nolan

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May & June 2017 Sailing Trips

Spring is here – and summer isn’t far away. Time to book a trip on Centaur or Pudge

Choose from a day sail on the Blackwater Estuary, a specialist art tuition sail, a barge match in Kent and Essex, a weekend adventure or a special Pageant on the River Medway to commemorate the Dutch naval attack in June 1667.

There is something for everyone in the forthcoming sails in May and June aboard Thames sailing barges “Centaur” and “Pudge”.

So, what are you waiting for?

Why not contact David and book your trip….

Phone: 07840  862685     Email: crewing@bargetrust.org 

 

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Maritime Heritage Open Days 2017

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust is this year joining forces with the Steam Tug Brent Trust and holding two Maritime Heritage Open Days on Hythe Quay, Maldon, Essex.

You are invited to Maritime heritage open days 2017 Maldon Essexvisit the vessels on Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May 2017 from 11am to 5pm.

Our volunteers will be happy to welcome you aboard and answer any questions.

Admission is free.

Donations to help raise funds for these three historic vessels will be gratefully received.

 

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2017 Sailing programme

can be viewed on the Come Sailing/Bookings tab.

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Learn How To Sail A Thames Sailing Barge For Free

Are you looking for the adventure of a lifetime?

(Please note the Thames Barge sail training scheme is now closed to new applicants for 2017. We have had a fantastic response this year and look forward to welcoming more new faces aboard the barges this year. We now have a total of 19 trainees.)

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust is seeking passionate, highly-motivated individuals who want to become mate or skipper of a traditional Thames Sailing Barge.

Centaur Thames Barge Pin Mill Match (1)

No previous sailing experience required

Following the success of the first year (2016) of our sail training scheme, the Trust are looking to recruit a further ten trainees to help secure the future of the Thames Sailing Barge fleet.

This is possibly the most comprehensive, free sail training opportunity in the world.

We will guide you through 700 enabling objectives, which will help you reach the required standard to qualify as a bargemaster. These include full knowledge of all barge sailing, navigation and maintenance tasks.

It usually takes around 7 to 10 years to train to be a fully qualified barge skipper. This is a serious commitment that will require you to dedicate at least one weekend a month to the scheme, possibly for the next decade.

This is an amazing opportunity to get afloat and discover a lifetime of adventure under sail.

What we are offering:

    • Centaur Thames Sailing BargeAround 20 sailing days free of charge per year
    • A personal development plan, customised to your availability, previous sailing experience, if any, and ambitions
    • A personal mentor to assist in your development
    • Training in a complete range of traditional seafaring skills, including ropework, gear and rigging, sail setting and trim, rules of the road, navigation, meteorology, small boat work, maintenance, leadership skills and much more
    • Access to over 20 Thames Sailing Barges in Essex, Kent, Suffolk, London and beyond

In volunteering, you will not only be helping to preserve Thames Sailing Barges themselves but also the skills and knowledge required to sail and maintain them. Hopefully you will in turn be able to pass these skills on to future generations. 

You will get the chance to meet lots of interesting people from different backgrounds along the way as you enjoy the wonders of Thames Barge sailing.

You will need to be:DSC01346.JPG compressed

    • Reliable and flexible (hours depend on tide and weather etc)
    • Reasonably fit and strong
    • Passionate about learning how to sail a Thames Sailing Barge
    • Sociable, with good communication skills
    • Willing to learn and apply yourself

Find Out More:

If you’re interested in finding out more, send an email to training@bargetrust.org with your name, contact details and a few words explaining why you would like to be considered for this opportunity.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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An Evening of Archive Thames Sailing Barge Films

An evening of Archive Thames Sailing Barge Films

In association with Society of Sailing Barge Research

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Saturday 11th March 2017
Maldon Town Hall
Market Hill, Maldon, Essex

Doors open at 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm
Tickets £7.00 in advance or £8.00 on the night

Teas, coffees and a real ale bar

Raffle

All funds raised to be shared between Thames Sailing Barge Trust and Society for Sailing Barge Research

Tickets available from Maldon District Tourist Information Office, Wenlock Way, High Street, Maldon of by post from
John Rayment 12 Wisdoms Green, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex CO6 1SG by sending a cheque payable to Thames Sailing Barge Trust and a self addressed and stamped envelope.

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AUCTIONEER’S CALL TO SAVE THE MEDWAY BARGE RACING TROPHIES

Fifteen cups dating from 1904 to 1963 in sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries

It is already too late to save many of the iconic Medway barges but thanks to a sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries later this month, it will be possible to rescue a collection of barge racing trophies from at best being sold abroad or at worst, being melted down by their purchasers for their silver content.

The 15 imposing prize cups were won by barges Scotia, Cambria, Sara and Veronica owned by F.T.Everard and Sons Ltd., who during the inter war years maintained one of the largest fleets of sailing barges, coasters and ships on the East Coast and Thames Estuary.

The trophies will be sold in The Canterbury Auction Galleries’ two-day sale on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30.

They cover the period from the first Thames Coasting Class Sailing Barge Match in June 1905, in which the Everard vessel Scotia came third, to 1963, the centenary year of the Thames Sailing Barge Match, when Veronica came in first.

In the same year, with the demise of sailing barges deemed to be inevitable, Everards and their great rivals, Maurice Gillʼs, London & Rochester Trading Company, decided to cease racing. Having fought so hard to win at any expense, the two companies sadly dispersed the vessels in which they had taken such pride.

Sara was broken up at Greenhithe, while Veronica was sold off as a houseboat, never to race or sail again. A few years later she was hulked at Bedlams Bottom on the Medway together with her main rival, Gill’s, Sirdar, the remains of both of which are now all but gone.

Fortunately, enthusiast bargemen have since kept the traditions alive and in 1965, barge racing started again on the Medway and continues today.

Cambria, built and launched from Everard’s yard at Greenhithe, was restored with Heritage Lottery funding by the Cambria Trust and powered by wind and tide alone, she has competed in most matches on the East Coast in every year since her relaunch, adding to her success of cups awarded in 1928, 1936 and 1938 on the River Medway,

Similarly the trophies they battled so hard to win live on. A two-handled cup engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 16th June 1936 – Second Prize – Coasting Sailing Barges – Won by Cambria” is estimated at £400-600, while another engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match, 23rd June 1938 – Coasting Class – First Prize – Won by Cambria, (owners F.T Everard & Sons – Captain Finch)” is estimated at £500-700.

Most valuable trophy in the collection is a George V silver three-handled tyg engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 5th June 1937 – Coasting Class – First Prize – Won by Veronica“. It was made by silversmith Henry Atkin, and assayed (tested for silver quality) in Sheffield in 1935. At 68 ounces, the trophy is the heaviest in the collection and consequently estimated at £700-900 (auction estimates are based on weight of silver). The other 14 are lighter, each weighing an average of around 40 ozs, but it is the historical importance of the trophies where their true value really lies. Quantifying that is difficult, if not impossible.

The collection includes four other trophies awarded to Veronica respectively in 1934, 1935, 1957 and 1963, with estimates ranging from £275 to £700.

The collection’s earliest trophy is a three-handled cup engraved “First Thames Coasting Class Sailing Barge Match, June 1905 – Third Prize – Won by Scotia F.T Everard Owner & Builder – F.W. Fuller, Captain”, assayed in Birmingham in 1904. The only one won by the barge in the collection, it is estimated at £450-600.

Victories by Sara are recalled by a two-handled cup engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 21st June 1930 – River (Bowsprit) Class – First Prize – Won by Sara” (estimate £450-600); a cup with cover engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 5th June 1937 – Champion Bowsprit Class – First prize – Won by Sara” (£650-800); a late Victorian  cup and cover engraved “Grand Coronation Thames & Medway Barge Sailing Match, 1953 – A Champion Bowsprit Class – First Prize – Presented by The Joint Committee –  Won by Sara” (£500-700) and from the following year, a two-handled cup engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 26th June 1954 – Champion Bowsprit Class – 1st Prize – Won by Sara” (£450-600).

Auctioneer Tony Pratt said he hoped the various trophies would be saved. “The Medway was once thick with barges, delivering bricks and cement to London and returning laden with the capital’s waste that was used to fire the brick kilns,” he said.

“Captains soon began challenging each other to see who had the fastest barges and official racing started on the Thames in 1863. The first official race on the Medway was in 1880 with Everard and Gill becoming fierce competitors to the point where barges like Veronica were refitted to make them faster.

“It would be a tragedy if these trophies go the same way as the barges that won them.”

The trophies will be sold on the first of the two-day sale.

Free public viewing is as follows: Saturday November 26, from 10am-4pm, Sunday November 27, 12 noon-4pm, Monday November 28, 10am-7pm and on the morning of the sales from 8:30. For further information, please contact the auctioneer, telephone 01227 763337 or general@tcag.co.uk.

Picture shows the most valuable trophy, engraved “Medway Barge Sailing Match – 5th June 1937 – Coasting Class – First Prize – Won by Veronica“.

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Winter working party dates published

Winter Working Party dates

Our barges are un-rigged for the winter period maintenance. A working party meets on Maldon Hythe Quay on the following weekends. Working volunteers are welcome to stay aboard the barge if they wish to work on both days.   If you are new to these working weekends, please contact David on 07849 862685.

October  15/16  ( Un-rig );   29/30

November  12/13;    26/27

December 10/11;  17/18

January 7/8;  21/22

February  4/5; 18/19

March  4/5 ;     18/19

April  1/2 ;  14/15/16  (Easter);  29/30

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Centaur will not be going to London

Due to operational difficulties, Centaur will not be joining the Parade of Barges in London this weekend 17th/18th September.

The Trust are sorry that this is the case but wish the event all the best and hope it is a great success.

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Press Release – Thames Sailing Barge Trust wins Heritage Lottery Fund support to secure the future of Dunkirk Little Ship, s.b. “Pudge”

Please click on pdf link below to read about the Thames Sailing Barge Trust winning Heritage Lottery Fund support to secure the future of Pudge

Pudge Press release Aug 24

Pudge

Pudge

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