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.
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.
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.