Frozen sea at Mersea, January 1940, photograph taken by Howard Winch, Pauline's father. The back of the photo says "View from near Hard & Yacht Club, West Mersea - looking N W to Ray Island. High tide.".
The barge is the VICTA. Standing on the road are thought to be Ted Woolf on the left and Alfred 'Tush' Woolf on the right.
Ron Green writes about the VICTA:
She was coming in to East Mersea (Now Coopers Beach) when she stranded across Cumber Gut and broke her back. Her cargo of rag stone was removed by lighter and her owners Wakeley Bros sent another of their barges, LURLINE, to strip off any reuseable gear leaving the mainmast in place to mark the wreck. I believe she was crewed by VICTA's crew. The job done, they were sailing up the Thames to Wakeley's yard when they were in collision with a steamer in thick fog and LURLINE was lost too.
Looking at VICTA you will see everything of use has been removed. I thought I remembered the sprit still being rigged but I can see it was a spar rigged as a derrick to lift stuff aboard. The stayfall blocks have been removed and replaced by a strop and sections have been cut from the rails to help with loading gear which I understand came from the yacht MARIQUITA.
As a matter of interest the chunk which held the crosstrees (Truck?) is still laying near her remains - or was until recently.
The hulk was bought by 'Bunger' Perry who sold it on to 'Nutty' Hempstead - Geoff's father.
Date: 26 January 1940