Posts Tagged ‘sailing barge’

The sailing barge and the dredger

August 11, 2015

image002 Photos like this remind me of just how ancient I am. The scene is just off Newhaven. The year is 1954. I was five years old and so can remember scenes like this. Oh, I can also apologise for the rather poor quality photo.

Let’s start with that sailing barge.


It is just about to pass the end of the sea wall on the East sid eof Newhaven Harbour. I’d guess dad, who took the photo was on the much longer west pier.

The barge, presumably, is running on a motor for the sail is furled. But it definitely looks like a Thames sailing barge to me. So yes, I remember these vessels in service.

The other ship in the photo is a bucket dredger.


This dredger was called the Foremost Prince and I believe she worked, clearing the mud out of Newhaven Harbour, from 1947 for about forty years. So back in 1954 she (or should that be he as he was a Prince) was quite new. The idea was simple. Bucket scoops on a continuous chain dredged the sea bed and then tipped the mud into the hold. When full, ‘The Prince’ went out into the English Channel and dumped its load. My dad always reckoned it washed back into the harbour.

It certainly looks archaic now but yes, I remember it well.


November 26, 2013

Piddinghoe is on the west bank of the tidal River Ouse, between Newhaven and Seaford.

It was always a favourite spot to visit from camp although it was on a longer route from Camp to Newhaven. What we have today is a photo my dad took


This was dad’s circular frame. He had a camera which used 120 film. This took big negatives which could be contact printed. Dad always did his own photo processing. We have a wonderful scene here. The small boy was my brother who died as a young man in 1980. It is always good to be reminded of him. Behind him is the village with the church with the round tower. We were always brought up to know that the round tower was very unusual in Sussex. In front of the church is what I feel sure my dad was keen to photograph – a sailing barge.

I think this photo dates from 1957.

Now interestingly, father in law took a photo at Piddinghoe too – probably a couple or more years later.


Is that the same barge? I’m not sure.

A Sailing Barge at Lewes

November 24, 2012

I’ve commented before on my Dad’s interest in almost everything and here’s a case in point. In August 1954 Dad snapped this picture.

The scene is the River Ouse just on the downstream side of Lewes, county town of East Sussex. The famous cliff is on the right – scene of the awful tragedy of December 1836. Amazingly, it wasn’t so much a cliff collapse as an avalanche of snow which crashed down the cliff destroying a row of cottages and killing eight people.

Let’s lighten the mood. One of my favourite spoof book titles, remembered from childhood was, ‘The Cliff Tragedy’ by Eileen Dover.

And now back to the photo where all looks calm, still and a tad grey on this August 1954 day. Holding centre stage is a sailing barge. I’m sure dad would have taken this shot knowing their days were numbered. Now I’m not an expert on sailing barges – different styles were adopted for specific circumstances in different parts of the country – but I think this is a Thames sailing barge. Do tell me if I’m wrong.

They do still exist although whether any really carry cargo, I don’t know. My dad hired one in 1975 as part of an Industrial Archaeology Course he was running. I was there! We set sail from Malden in Essex.

That’s dad at the helm

A group of ‘passengers’ go ashore on the tender. That’s the Thames sailing barge (she was called Dawn) in the background