Thursday, August 19, 2010


Looking down river


'Greensleeves' and 'Hazel May'

Close-up of 'Greensleeves'

This Essex village, situated where the River Crouch is narrow enough for a road bridge, has an interesting history. The first bridge, a wooden one, was replaced with an iron bridge in 1856, and replaced again with the existing one in 1872. Not so many years ago, the structure was strengthened by adding metal supports under it. The most prominent building is now an antiques centre, but in its heyday was a mill, beside which barges would berth for transporting grain and flour.

Even today, fair sized vessels can be seen moored near the bridge. One of the larger ones is the ‘Hazel May’, the motor vessel beyond the little green gaff cutter, ‘Greensleeves’ shown in the photos above.

When I first saw ‘Greensleeves’, I thought she was Charles Stock’s ‘Shoal Waters’, but a closer examination revealed she was very similar, perhaps a sister ship.

Getting vessels as large as the old Thames barges to Battlesbridge these days could be a bit tricky, because of silting and a narrowing of the channel, but it’s still possible at high water springs.



Battlesbridge Conservation Area

Guide to Battlesbridge

‘Hazel May’ Photo

Another ‘Hazel May’ Photo

My previous Blog about ‘Shoal Waters’, Charles Stock’s boat


Bursledon Blogger said...

Bill, I think you'll find Greensleeves is a Memory, they were built on the hamble until very recently by Salterns Boatbuilders.

If I recall correctly Greensleves was Roy Hart's boat which beat everyone in class in the around the island race a few years ago but was disqualified for not having the correct flares.

William Serjeant said...

You must be right, because Roy lives at Battlesbridge; he has an outdoor clothing business there. Some years ago he had an Americas Cup yacht laid up at Battlesbridge. That's the biggest boat I've seen there and the one with the deepest draught. How he got her in and out is a mystery, perhaps by road.