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Thread: Swim barges

  1. #1
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    Default Swim barges

    Who remembers these in and around the Docks.?


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    Default Re: Swim barges

    Had one of those alongside us on the Beaverfir, summer 1969. Lovely warm day. What did the barge cargo have for as it lay alongside us for 24 hours before the stevedores got round to loading us from said barge. Well that would be the frozen strawberries that should have been loaded into our tween deck freezer chambers but which by now we're just a sticky glutinous mess on the barges hold.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    Had seen such Barges in my time Mike .
    Some sights
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    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    Still plenty on the Thames.

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    Twice on the Thames in July and saw that there are still a good number of them in use.

    But with no shipping there now they do look a bit out of place.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    Thames Lighter Barge , I was in St Catherine's Dock near tower bridge last week, and there is one in the dock restored .There is some still on the river including the powered ones.

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    A lot of the barges that you still see on the Thames are entered in the annual Thames Barge Driving race. The race takes part every July and there are between 9 and 13 barges taking part between the starting point at Greenwich and the finishing line besides the Houses of Parliament. They have between 5 and 8 crew with two of those crew rowing and one steering with twenty foot oars on the stern of the barge which is one hell of a job to even get them moving. The knack is to use the tidal currents between the various reaches and bends on the river which means the person steering needs to have a lot of knowledge as well as brawn. Most of those taking part work on the river and are freeman in the Watermen and Lightermens guild. It is a fantastic spectacle which is followed by a flotilla of small pleasure craft and larger ferries carrying probably a couple of thousand people enjoying themselves and shouting encouragement to the contestants whilst drinking large amounts of alcohol .

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    They are the sailing Thames barges not lighters the traded more down river at the mouth of the Thames in the main channel and the Essex and Kent coast right up to tower bridge .Still on the river today and a sight to behold.The lighterman was then a very skilled job handed down through dock land families as it is today .

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    Default Re: Swim barges

    That old tub being towed down river looks like something I would have been on. I remember threading our way down through those barges many a time. On one of Corry's the Core Fleet used to up and down there around once a week.
    Des

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