Category Archives: Barges and wherries

Barges and wherries and other working boats originally for carrying cargoes

EW Cooke painting and drawing in North Kent

Holly Shore Boats on Shore BM E W Cooke 1832

Following the recent post about EW Cooke, Faversham historian Arthur Percival has alerted me to the existence of this Cooke drawing of the scene at Holly Shore on Oare Creek – this is the spot we now know as Hollowshore.

This low-resolution image is all I’ve been able to get hold of up to now – the original is held by the British Museum but I have not been able to find a record of it on the museum website.

The entrance to Oare Creek and the Shipwright’s Arms will be familiar to anyone who has visited. The barge itself is of the old swim-headed type from long before the Henry Dodd established sailing barge races in the 1860s.

A long-standing fan of EW Cooke’s work, Mr Percival says the artist visited the area on the 9th July 1832.

Another find from searching the Internet is the image below of a sailing barge loaded with hay with a retired man of war in the background. I think this is very likely to depict a scene on the Medway, and is therefore of particular interest to those of us who sail in the area.

The man of war with its masts cut down is clearly not a prison hulk, because they were closed down a few years before EW’s visit.

The image of the hay barge is a thumbnail from the Magnolia Box prints and pictures website, which offers the image in various sizes – the title given is ‘Hay Barge and Men of War on the Medway, 1833′.

EW Cooke prison hull and sailing barge

Cooke clearly had a particular interest in hay barges – there’s another similar scene of a hay barge in still weather being handled under sweeps off Greenwich here.

 

IMG_2958 edited

More photos from the 2014 Blackwater Match

More shots from the Blackwater, as promised yesterday. I hope you like them! (The previous set are here.)

The splendid elderly gentleman is legendary Brightlingsea barge skipper Jimmy Lawrence who is captured here giving out the prizes. The gent pictured in the white tee-shirt and also holding a plaque and playing a melodeon is Thames Sailing Barge Trust mate Mick Nolan.

The barge we were aboard, Pudge, got awarded the plaque for turning up and not sinking I think, as we didn’t exactly do well in the race. A ‘wag’ pointed out that plaques are what they make from the material that gets cut out from the centre of a toilet seat during manufacturing. Thanks, wag.

IMG_3115 equipment

Sailing barge equipment on board Pudge, summer 2014

I was lucky enough this weekend to be able to go sailing aboard Pudge, one of two sailing barges (and one lighter) owned, maintained and chartered by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust. (Also see the TSBT’s Facebook page.)

I must say we had a fabulous day – I thoroughly recommend a trip on one of these boats. I’m also mightily impressed by the gear, which is effective and often ingenious in its working and in its simplicity, and by the barge sailors of the past, who managed these boats with a crew of just two.

Those folks were clearly very tough, and more than a bit clever with it.

The event was the Blackwater Match – an annual race for barges and smacks, so I’ll post a further collection of boats and the Blackwater itself tomorrow.

The 1963 Thames Barge Match

A Movietone newsreel showing the 1963 Thames barge match. The barges include Dreadnought, Sara, Sirdar and Veronica.

My thanks to the  Thames Sailing Barge Trust via its Facebook Facebook page.

National Historic Ships annual photographic competition 2014

Once again, National Historic Ships UK is running its annual photography competition for this year, and offering a range of equipment and cash prizes to be won.

There are categories for all ages, including one for young photographers under 18.

Entries must be in by the 31 August – the collection above represent some of the judges’ favourites submitted so far this month.

To enter in any of the competition categories, fill in an online entry form and upload your images to the National Historic Ships UK competition webpage at www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk.

There are rules and so on to check on the site also, as well as a handy web gizmo to enable photographers to identify historic ships that local to them and which might provide suitable subjects. (I think non-photographers will find that interesting too!)

Still more, the site has a set of tips for photographers working with marine topics – and one of them says that you deon’t have to have a special camera and that you’re more likely to have a small camera with you when the moment arises. So I guess my little Panasonic will do.

By the way, I’m not a judge but I’m going off the very processed multi-exposure shots we’ve seen so often in recent years, and – bravo! – I’m delighted to see that the judges’ favourites submitted so far during April don’t fall into that category.

PS – The Marsh Awards for volunteers - National Historic Ships is also calling for nominations of volunteers for the Marsh awards, which recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the conservation or operation of historic vessels in the UK.

There is an overall prize of £1,000 to be won for the Marsh Volunteer Award, and £500 for the young volunteer of the year, which is available to nominees aged 25 or under. Both prizes are donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

Both awards will be presented at our National Historic Ships UK Awards Ceremony, being held in October on HQS Wellington.

Last year’s winners included James Dulson and George Collinson, who have volunteered for a number of years at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, helping to conserve historic vessels including Edmund Gardner, and Isabelle Law who has volunteered as crew on the ferry Glenachulish for the past five years despite having only recently turned 16 years old.

The closing date for nomination is 31 August. Read what to do and about the Marsh awards here.