Yay! By the miracle of the Irish postal system (which is, let me add, streets ahead of the UK in terms of rapidity, I was amazed to find) I have received my copy of “The Thames Sailing Barge Compendium” (Compiled by John White, Ed by Richard Walsh and pub Society for Sailing Barge Research, ISBN 978-0-9500515-7-4, 2012). At £20 a go, this is not cheap, but it is a hefty tome crammed with facts and figures, the result of easily a huge amount of research, cross checking and compilation. It is A4 size and spiral bound in wire, contains approx 150 pages (they are not numbered and I have not counted them!). It describes approx 2400 barges ( 50% more than the previous work, ‘Last Berth of the Sailormen’) and for each, where possible, quotes name and previous names, port of registry, official number, tonnage, where built, builder, when built, PLA number, dimensions, registration changes, rig/hull-form, owners in order of ownership, history, fate, location (incl OS grid ref) if hulked. It does this in logical sections and indexes including listings by location for the hulks and wrecks, loss date if lost at sea and then barges by stage of commission or rebuild; i.e. ‘in commission’, being rebuilt, laid up / static and ‘new built’. It finishes with an alphabetical index of craft.
Not light, entertaining bedtime reading, maybe but surely a must for any barge-nut’s library and not a bad Christmas present.