This may not look like much to most folks – but it shows the brickie barge Westmoreland returning to Lower Halstow a few days ago.
The next step in bringing her back to life is to put in a bid for a Heritage Lottery grant – but in the meantime the trust looking after her could do with some donations to help pay for towing her to her new berth, and the insurance the job required.
Built in 1900 in Conyer (just a few creeks away off the Swale), the sailing barge worked from Lower Halstow for 60 years, taking bricks up to London. She’s also Kent’s last brickie barge – generally small barges these were built specifically for the job.
The aim of the Westmoreland Trust Community Interest Company is to restore the barge and to use her to tell the story of the brickfields and barges that carried the bricks used to build London.
Read more about the SB Westmoreland here and here.
Freshwater – as usual, click on the picture for a much larger image
Launched in the last few weeks, Freshwater is a 16ft trolling boat built for salmon fishing in a loch near Aviemore. Built along the lines of a Scottish skiff with a narrow waterline, she is clinker-built of larch on oak, and has a small fore-locker and removable bench seats aft.
She replaces an older boat that was past her prime, and perhaps for this reason every effort has been made to prevent pockets of stagnant water causing rot – which is the reason for the unusual open gunwales.
Adrian reports that the price was under £5,000, excluding long-shaft Yamaha 6hp outboard. The boat is kept on a mooring on Loch Insh.
See Adrian Morgan’s website.
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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