Thames Barge prepared for launch

New Thames sailing barge prepares for launch

The new Thames sailing barge, Blue Mermaid, is being prepared for her launch on Sunday 29th May. Here she is outside of the building shed as work continues on finishing painting.

Blue Mermaid is the first Thames sailing barge to be launched since 1930 and has been built for Essex-based Sea-Change Sailing Trust.

Sea-Change work on the East coast with young people, many from deprived communities, as well as those who are challenged by traditional educational settings, experiencing social exclusion or at risk of offending. The new barge will have cargo carrying capabilities and offer young people more opportunities to develop their organisational and leadership skills. As a Thames sailing barge, she will not have an engine and so will develop real sailing skills in a low carbon environment.

Blue Mermaid has  a special story and is a replica of a former barge. From the late 1860s, the Horlock family of Mistley in Essex owned many of the best known barges that traded carrying cargo all over the East coast. In 1924, the Horlocks commissioned seven new Thames barges. These ‘seven sisters’ are all afloat with the exception of the Blue Mermaid which was lost in World War II.



New building shed extension

Extension to building shed at C Toms & Son

The end of our existing building shed has come down for the last time. Next week work begins on a extension which will have a higher roof to the current shed allowing us to complete up to 3 new build projects undercover.

The groundworks for the extension will be undertaken by Celtic Construction with piling by Saxton Drilling.

The steel framed shed will be constructed by Mike Davies Fabrication with cladding by Progressive Systems.