Today’s picture is a superb one of Tim Goldsack’s ‘iron pot’ barge SB Decima taken by Catherine De Bont. Tim, Catherine and Decima all have long and deep associations with Faversham and with Cambria. Tim, of course is our Master Shipwright who managed, and personally did much of, the rebuild of the barge. He has also skippered her in racing, notably when all we volunteers were allowed ‘out to play’ last year. Tim owns the Decima, a ‘tin pot’. I was always curious as to why a shipwright so skilled at working in wood, would own a metal hulled barge but he tells me with a wry grin that it’s all down to the costs of maintenance. Decima has long been associated with Faversham, being previously owned by Faversham resident (and something of a local celebrity), ‘Beefy’ Wildish, still remembered by many of the locals now of ‘more mature years’. Bit of a character, by all accounts. The trophy for the Stays’l Class in the Swale match is named after him (real name Percy Wildish) and, to quote Tricia Gurnett in her Barge Blog (http://sailingbarges.wordpress.com/tag/percy-wildish-cup/) “In the Staysail Class Niagara and Repertor were neck and neck at the finish, with Repertor one second ahead. After a protest on the matter of something earlier in the match, Repertor was given a 5 minute time penalty, giving Niagara the victory. Decima was 3rd, getting the Percy Wildish Cup which was fittingly presented by “Beefy” Wildish’s son.”
Catherine herself has, of course, a huge association with Cambria and barges (and sailing craft generally of course) not only from her “Barge and Smack News” and other articles in the glossy mag “Traditional Boats and Tall Ships” (http://tallship.typepad.com/my_weblog/wild_news/). She was on board as they brought the old Cambria into Faversham on Hop Festival Day 2007 and it is she who slings the mooring rope ashore in all the videos of this event, including the clip used by Mike Maloney in the “Red Sails” film (http://www.cwideprods.co.uk/red-sails/). She is a major contributor of barge related news and snippets and photographs on the Facebook networking site. Thanks for the photo, Catherine and may your lens never get smeared with salty water.