29th June 2012 By matt_care
G Purkiss says
21st July 2012 at 7:46 pm
Ever since I watched the BBC video of Bob Roberts and his mate Dick taken in the 70s sailing from Colchester to Pin Mill, I was hooked on barges and their history. I then read ‘Breeze for a bargeman’ and various other books. I did come down to Kent to look for the Cambria about ten or twelve years ago, as I had heard she was being restored, only to find her sitting on a lighter her topsides were rotten ,and she looked in a very sad state.
I had heard again recently a that she was again to be being restored. Then about 10 days ago I was sailing my boat out of Brightlingsea only to see ahead of me an unfamiliar barge at anchored in the Colne. I picked up my binoculars and couldn’t believe my eyes, and she looked absolutely beautiful. Bob Roberts would have be so proud of all your hard work. She is indeed a lovely looking boat. I can see why he bought her, she has such lovely curved lines and a sharper bow than most sprit barges. I remembered Bobs words in the video when he was talking about commercial boats. He said boats nowadays are getting uglier and uglier. “Take a look at this one coming up here now . I don’t know if you could call it a boat really, you lie alongside that and you’d probably catch something”.
So congratulations on your massive achievement, and I look forward to seeing her again soon hopefully when I have my camera to hand. I have just watched to video again, and its like now I know it has a happy ending.
22nd July 2012 at 9:58 am
Thank you for that, Graham. She was almost completely rebuilt between 2007 and last year, in Faversham, by Master Shipwright, Tim Goldsack and his team (who also built the Dawn). She is, as you have seen, out and about again, currently on charter with the Sea Change Sailing Trust, skippered by Richard Tichener with Hilary Halajko as First Mate. You can catch up on the history of this rebuild in the blog and blog-archive under the ‘News’ tab on this site. You might also like to see a copy of the video “Red Sails” available from our shop and produced by Countrywide Productions. That has a lot of rebuild footage in it.