The Humber keel Comrade is a rare surviving example of a type of craft evolved to work the difficult Humber Estuary, and its tributaries and canals. She was built in 1923, at Warrenâ€™s shipyard at New Holland, and was originally named Wanda. At 61ft 6in in length and 15ft 6in in beam, she had a hold capable of carrying over a hundred tons in cargo.
The Humber is very much part of Viking invader territory, and I do wonder how much this unusual square sail may owe to those invaders of more than a thousand years ago.
For more on Comrade and her sister ship Humber sloop Amy Howson, see http://www.keelsandsloops.org.uk/
This is Hollowshore Services, at the junction between Faversham and Oare creeks. Probably better known as Tester’s yard, Hollowshore Services specialises in smacks, and so this remote corner of Kent is a great place for sightseeing old boats and a few newer ones built in the old way. Many of them are moored along the creek’s eastern bank or nearby in the main channel. The shed itself is one of the last two in the country purpose-constructed for building sailing barges; the sailing club is housed in a small shed alongside that was once used for making barge boats.
Tucked away at the back of the yard is the Shipwright’s Arms, a sweet old pub complete with a splendid collection of beers. They say there is also the ghost of a shipwrecked barge skipper who after fighting for his life as his ship went down struggled to the inn and finally died of cold on the doorstep after failing to rouse anyone from their beds. No doubt they were all sleeping off the effects of a rollicking night in the cosy little front room…
For more on Hollowshore Services:
For more on the Shipwright’s Arms:
For a map:
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