The following update on Cambria’s movements comes from Dave Brooks. We must also thank Dave for this lovely pic of Cambria leaving Gillingham Pier under sail power. The barge is here being allowed to drift aft on the tide while the dolly line, controlled by those new-start sail trainees from Rotary Club, keep the bow on station. When the bow has cleared the pier and the tops’l simultaneously set, the line is let go at the Pier and reeled in and the bow drops to starb’d to let the sail fill with wind. The crew quickly brail out some mains’l and we are under way. The trainees have her under sail, partly by their own efforts, within seconds of casting off which is always a complete thrill for them, and is poetry in motion for anyone on the quayside.
Dave’s update reads, “We have just completed a series of successful Rotary charters and have also competed in and won our class in the Medway Barge Match. We have also experimented with a new berth at Gillingham Pier and it has been a great success. It is really something to watch the barge arrive and leave under sail. We are very fortunate to have an extremely good crew as it takes a lot of skill to do this in an engineless barge.
We are also very pleased to welcome our new third hand Reggie who has been learning the skills of barging from Skipper Ian and Mate Dennis and coming on really well. He is also a big hit with the kids on the Rotary charters.
Cambria will now be going off on her Sea Change Charter and she will be competing in the Gravesend to Pin Mill Passage Match next Saturday. She will also be competing in the 150th Thames Barge Match which has additional significance that it is the Mark Boyle Memorial Match who sadly died late last year. Mark was instrumental in the Thames Barge Match and also in the Cambria rebuild. The match is on the 13th July and can ben seen from Pier Road Gravesend and at the finish at Erith.
It is expected that Cambria will be at Pin Mill again on the 5/6th July to be prepared for the above race.
A few changes going ahead with Cambria’s programme. She was expected to be in the Colne Match but has not been able to get a charter. She will now be entering the 50th Southend Barge Match (25th Aug). The whole match can be viewed from the end of the pier. We may have limited space available for the match. We will also be entering Swale Barge Match (3rd Aug) will advise of spaces for this match as I have the information.
Will advise of further activity later”
Thanks for that and for the photo(s), Dave.