We have a ‘celeb’ aboard Cambria for the first part of her current historic trip to reproduce the barge’s final cargo-carrying run, Tilbury to Ipswich. None other than Dick Durham, her last Mate and now writer for Sailing mag “Yachting Monthly”. Dave Brooks reports, “Today the Cambria and her Sea Change crew left Gravesend with a certain Mr Dick Durham aboard bound for Tilbury Dock to load token cargo. Tomorrow she will leave Tilbury around 7.00am bound for Ipswich in a rerun of her last ever cargo passage in 1970 under Bob Roberts with Dick Durham as mate. I am pleased to say he looked quite at home on the old girl as he helped throw off the mooring lines. Unfortunately Dick can’t make the full trip due to other commitments but will sail down river with them for a while.”
Dave B reports some exciting new plans for Cambria. “So,” says Dave, “Sea Change head off to take Cambria up the East Coast and an exciting period that will include the Thames and Colne Barge Matches, and two cargo trips, one to deliver Captain Bob beer to several pubs, and the other to re-enact Cambria’s last cargo from Tilbury to Ipswich.” Have a great time guys, look after the old girl. We hope to see you somewhere along the line. First Mate Hilary Halajko has promised to keep us abreast of progress. “So off we go for a week on the smack, then 4 weeks on Cambria”, she comments, “There is no time off for good behaviour! Our first port of call will be Maldon to collect beer for delivering engineless to various pubs around the coast. It could be fun and it could take a long time!” Today’s picture is one of Dave B’s, showing Skipper Richard Tichener, First Mate Hilary Halajko and one of the trainees heading out to Cambria.
Meanwhile there is movement and maybe some new hope on the sorry tale of SB Ena, currently languishing like Cambria in 2007. One Laura Chown reports “What fantastic news, a Suffolk based family have bought ENA and saved her. Hopefully she will soon be back on the Orwell where she belongs”. There is, of course, an ENA page on Facebook which has been running as a focal point for efforts to restore ENA. This has “”ENA” is a Thames sailing barge, the barge was built in 1906 in Harwich by W.B McLearon and bought by R & W Paul Ltd in Ipswich where she spent her working life. When road transport took over the transportation of the company’s products she was transferred to the Sports and Social Club of Pauls & Whites in 1974 and re rigged as a mule barge.
As a young man”, says the writer, Olly, (sorry, surname unknown. I will try to find out) I spent many a happy hour on Ena and have some very happy memories of my Father carrying out maintenance on the engine!
The reason for setting up this web page is that Ena is in very poor condition and is up for sale, what i would like to do is to get people involved in setting up a charity to enable the barge to be saved restored and once again sailed in her former glory ! This will be an enormous project and will be a lot of hard work but the end result will be amazing and will also mean that another historic barge has been saved from a very uncertain future, so if you are not scared of hard work either mental or physical then please get involved and lets bring Ena back to Ipswich where she belongs.” Laura tells me “Her home is on the Orwell. We just can’t wait to see her back here but we are not sure how easy she will be to move.” We are rooting for you, the ENA team.