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Lifeboat Francis Forbes Barton is back in her Thanet home

The 1896-built lifeboat Francis Forbes Barton is back on the Isle of Thanet after being rescued from Lincolnshire when she was in danger of being destroyed. She’s currently at Ramsgate Harbour.

Constructed at Birkenhead, she is said to have served at Broadstairs from 1897 to 1912 and at North Deal during World War I.

The Frances Forbes Barton Preservation and Restoration Trust is planning to raise funds and restore the lifeboat. Read about her here, here, here and perhaps best of all here. The trust also has a Facebook page.

Does anyone have good sources on Wivenhoe sea captains Joseph and William Trayler please?

Joseph (two photos) and William Trayler

John Trayler has got in touch to ask whether Intheboatshed readers might be able to shed some more light on the careers of two of his forebears, both of whom were yacht captains based in Wivenhoe in the 1880 to 1910 era, or direct him to a source of more information.

Their were his great grandfather Joseph Trayler (1860-1915) and great uncle William Trayler (1855-1910).

John has learned that William was captain of the Varuna, which was wrecked on Madeira in 1909, and also captained the Star of the Sea, which was owned by the Duke of Norfolk. He’s also been informed that he captained the Cleopatra (ships register 99242) in 1894 and La Belle Sauvage (ships register 10903) in 1895.

A newspaper report of the funeral of Joseph Trayler mentions five boats are mentioned: Elsie, Spindrift, Dinitza, Bulrush and Marcella. A search of Lloyds Yachting Register did not reveal any information.

Are there records at Wivenhoe or elsewhere that John could access please? Let me know at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll forward the information to John.

The scary legend of the Broomway

I don’t know how true all this is – but it makes a damned good story… Keep out of the coffins folks!

Read more about it here, here, here and here.

‘For anyone who enjoys wandering out onto coastal flats during low-tide to explore the terrain, Britain’s Broomway has all the appearances of the perfect gateway. The tidal foot path, so-named for the hundreds of broomsticks that once marked its boundaries, has for nearly 600 years provided access from Essex, England to the farming communities of nearby Foulness Island.

‘The Broomway, however, is more dangerous than its name implies… For at least 100 people, and likely many more, it’s one walk they never returned from.

‘To access the Broomway, you must first leave the mainland of Essex at a point called Wakering Stairs. You then reach a causeway of brick and debris that takes you over the ominous Black Grounds, a kind of quicksand that locals refer to simply as “coffins.” Once on the Broomway, you’ll walk across a firm, silvery mudflat called the Maplin Sands.’

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog