The story of the Cambria Trust
In the early 1990’s the “Cambria Restoration Project” was formed under the leadership of Tony Ellis, a founder member of the Dolphin Barge Yard Trust. SB Cambria had been placed at the Dolphin Yard by the Maritime Trust when her condition required a mud berth. In 1996 the Cambria Trust was formed out of the restoration project, and SB Cambria was purchased from the Maritime Trust.
The Trust managed to place the Cambria in a dry dock with the donation of a ‘refuse lighter’, and a lot of help and hard work. This was a vast improvement on the previous mud berth. The barge was unrigged and cleaned out, progress was slow with very little funding, only minimal maintenance could be made.
In 2006 with notice to quit the Barge Yard, and proposals to bridge Milton Creek the Heritage Lottery Fund visited and showed interest in funding. Under this impetus, SB Cambria, in her dry dock was moved to the Lower Camber at Sheerness, where she remained in the care of Medway Ports until funding from HLF materialised.
With good news from HLF SB Cambria moved to Standard Quay Faversham. Here she was a rebuilt under the guidance of Tim Goldsack with the job being completed in mid – 2011 when she was recommissioned, and started her new life.
There is a good description of events in “The Cambria Story” by Robert Simper. Copies available at £7 + p&p.
Cambria Trust corporate information
CAMBRIA is owned by a registered charity and Company Limited by Guarantee, the Cambria Trust, established with the specific objective of restoring, preserving and using what many view as the most famous sailing barge ever!
Formed in 1986, The Cambria Trust set itself four objectives. They are:
To restore and preserve a unique element of British Maritime Heritage
- To initiate a certified Shipwright Apprentice Scheme
- To provide a motivating teaching environment in support of schools and communities
- To support local authority social outreach programmes through sail-training activities.
With objectives 1 and 2 now successfully achieved, the Trust is actively focused in working with sponsoring organisations and schools delivering Objectives 3 and 4.
Operating as a floating classroom, we plan to moor CAMBRIA at a variety of locations throughout the tidal Thames estuary, offering environmental training and education in social and economic history for schools, working closely with educational charities, port authorities and local authorities.
There are also plans for CAMBRIA to operate as a floating interpretative centre explaining the past, present and future of London River and encouraging interest and support from the general public.
Meanwhile Cambria will continue to be used on sail training charters by both Sea Change Sailing Trust and Rotary Region 1120, for races and in static displays, for example at St Katharine Dock and in Wells Harbour.
The Cambria Trust is proud to acknowledge the support of the following organizations and individuals during the restoration phase:
- Heritage Lottery Fund
- Port of London Authority
- Swale Borough Council
- Mrs Angela Yeoman OBE DL
- The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation
- The Ernest Cook Trust
- The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
- The Rank Foundation
- Cleanaway Ltd
- Peel Ports Ltd
- Tate & Lyle Ltd
- Pfizer Ltd
- Sita UK
- Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames
- Garfield Weston Foundation
- J Phillips Engineering Ltd
- Invicta Engineering
- Worshipful Company of Master Mariners
- Standard Quay Ltd.
- Rochester Independent College
- Mr David Allen
- Oakwood Container Services
- The Barnes Warden Family
The Cambria Trust gratefully acknowledges the continuing support of the following Active Partners:
- Port of London Authority
- Rotary District 1120
- Sea Change Sailing Trust