A sailing barge is one of the most archetypal images of Faversham. In their heyday in the years leading up to the First World War they thronged the Creek and the neighbouring waterways and there are still a few to be seen today. This is their story.
Drawing on his own expertise, contemporary records and photographs and interviews with former bargemen, Richard Hugh Perks gives a fascinating in-depth account of the rise and fall of these versatile craft and their contribution to the town’s fortunes as they ferried the products and raw materials of its farms and factories, from munitions and bricks to haystacks and manure.
Along the way he tells some intriguing stories, from the trivial (such as the transistor radio thrown into the creek by an irate local, and the “mob of ladies” threatening to throw the town surveyor into a tar barrel) to the deadly serious, including the many losses at sea incurred in the course of the this dangerous trade. He also introduces some colourful characters, such as Osborn Dan sailing with two loaded revolvers and the Barge Captain intriguingly nicknamed “Old Soddo”!
A must read for anyone interested in sailing and in the history of the town in the 19th Century in particular.