Sunday, December 11, 2011

‘Hydrogen’ Thames Sailing Barge

Yesterday I was at Heybridge Basin looking at the yachts. While having lunch at the Old Ship Inn I was excited to see the Thames sailing barge, ‘Hydrogen’ making her way upriver towards Maldon. It was about high water, and a few yachts and dinghies were out sailing in lovely sunshine, as a gentle west wind caressed the water. At that point ‘Hydrogen’ had doused all sail, finally dropping the peak of her spritsail. Very sensibly, her fisherman anchor hung from the stem head, ready to let go if needed. Two men at the bow looked as if they were preparing lines for coming alongside the wharf at Maldon which is her normal berth.

A summary of the history of this fine old wooden vessel, first launched in 1906, can be found at the website of;* since then she has been in almost continuous service earning her keep. After a short period when she was powered solely by her engine, she was re-commissioned as a sailing barge in 1978 at the behest of new owners. They reinvented her as a mobile entertainment facility that visited ports around the UK. I believe she is owned by the Blackwater Barge Company. As from 1992 Topsail Services have chartered her along with four other barges: ‘Thistle’, ‘Cabby’, ‘Reminder’, and ‘Kitty’ for providing a number of activities throughout the year, including day sailing excursions, private hire, promotions etc.

Text for the Day

2 Corinthians 5:9 ‘Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.’


Sailing Barge ‘Hydrogen’

*Hydrogen’s History

‘Hydrogen’ of London

Thames Sailing Barge ‘Hydrogen’

Photo of ‘Hydrogen’

Topsail Charters

A Programme of Day Trips

The Old Ship Inn at Heybridge Basin


Bursledon Blogger said...

Bursledon Pool has the Jolly sailor on one side and the Old Ship on the other - maybe we should arrange to "twin" Heybridge and Bursledon.

William Serjeant said...


Good suggestion.