Trust Apprentice works on Centaur’s New Bottom

We are pleased to announce that the first job that the new apprentices will work on, will be on the 1895 Thames Sailing Barge Centaur.

The Centaur, owned and managed by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust will benefit from a £100,000 Lottery Heritage Funded refit in Tim Goldsack’s dry dock at Oare Creek. She will be worked on over the next few months by a team of local craftsmen which includes the Faversham Creek Trust’s first apprentice, Tom Browning.

Tom, achieved his level 2 apprenticeship with Simon Grillet, during the Cambria restoration at Standard Quay, in 2011. He will commence his level three training through work experience on the Centaur, combined with technical training at the Purifier Building.

The Trust  are delighted to support the Thames Barge Sailing Trust in their restoration and outreach programmes, that do so much to keep alive our local maritime traditions, and this is exactly the type of job that we want apprentices to be involved with.

Note about Centaur and the Thames Barge Sailing Trust

Centaur was built by John and Herbert Cann and launched at Gashouse Creek, Harwich on February 15th 1895 when the Thames and the Medway froze over and the temperature dropped to 30o below freezing!

A typical Essex coasting barge of 65 registered tons, she went on to an active commercial life until 1955 when she and her sister ship Mirosa (now chartered from Iron Wharf) ceased trading; she was converted to carry passengers in 1965.

In 1974 Centaur started her new life succeeding Westmoreland as the flagship of the Thames Barge Sailing Club, later to become the Thames Barge Sailing Trust, who have extensively restored her.

Centaur is now used to provide individuals with weekend voyages, and charters, and every summer she now cruises the Thames Estuary and the Essex, Suffolk and Kent rivers.

Experiencing the full pleasures and excitement of sailing on an historic vessel such as a Thames Sailing barge is not as difficult as one might imagine. The Thames Sailing Barge Trust, which owns both Pudge and Centaur, offers the opportunity to sail to various locations around the Thames Estuary and also to take part in competition with other barges in the various barge matches arranged throughout the sailing season.

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust (TSBT) was established as a club in 1948, becoming a registered charity in 2003.

The Trust, which is run entirely by volunteers, has these key aims:

1. Preserve two historic Thames barges and keep them sailing

2. Preserve and teach the skills needed to sail and maintain our barges

3. Educate the public in the history and traditions of the working sailing barge

4. Support the above by maintaining records and archives of the Club/Trust activities

By becoming a Member of the Trust you will directly contribute to the preservation of Thames Barges and the skills needed to maintain and sail them.

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