Thank you to both Skipper Ian Ruffles and barge book author Nick Ardley for your clarifications on the role of the long-stay in barge rigging. Thanks too, Ian for today’s beautiful picture of Cambria moored off Gillingham in the Medway, at sunset. Our new 3rd-hand, Reggie put this one up on Facebook (from where I nabbed it!) and promises to look out and take more for us.
Onto the doormat this morning plops the latest edition of ‘Mainsheet’, periodical magazine from the Society for Sailing Barge Research (SSBR, see also http://www.sailingbargeresearch.org.uk/ ) This is their Spring 2013 publication, Issue No 93 and marks their 50th Anniversary Year, so it is a bit special.
Most strikingly the cover picture runs across the whole front and back cover like a centre-fold. It is a gorgeous shot of Maldon waterfront taken by Geoff Tyrell in 2010. In the foreground are the hulks of SB Oxygen and SB Scotia with assorted ‘live’ barges dipped down between the saltings banks on the low tide, all overlooked by the lovely old tower and spire of Maldon Church.
The mag is, as ever, a FEAST of pictures, letters, well researched articles, reviews and comment. It includes, in full, Richard Walsh’s eulogy on the late Mark (Nozz) Boyle and momories of Catherine de Bont. It has a good few responses to an earlier piece on Mauretania, an item on the 1953 floods at Whitstable, an item called “A Winter’s Passage” about SB Colonia which is full of first hand memories, and another “A Voyage Round My Father” (in this case, old Skipper ‘Jack’ Josh). Another item summaries some of the stories our friend Tricia Gurnett has posted in “The Barge Blog”. There is much much more – this magazine and it’s hammock partner “Topsail” are reason enough alone to pay your subs and join SSBR. It finishes with a nice piece by Charles Traill who was ‘dragged off’ (OK, probably quite willingly!) on a holiday away from barges, to get all cultured by looking at an exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite art in the Tate, and came upon a picture of an auburn haired ‘lady of negotiable affection’. This picture, by John Rodden Stanhope in 1858 called “Thoughts of the Past” shows ‘your wan’ gazing out of a window upon the River Thames where, in the background are… you guessed it…. spritsail rig barges quite clearly unloading at a wharf and a stumpie out in mid stream. “Salvation!” says Charles. Nice one.
Thanks for that, the Team at SSBR.