|On Thursday 23rd May, there was a unique step back in time when a
sailing barge sailed all the way up Ray Channel to Shell Bungalow , Peldon.
Des Kaliszewski, a native of Heybridge Basin, has been sailing the
little barge CYGNET to many remote places around the East Coast and the
Thames Estuary for a number of years now and has tried to reach Shell
Bungalow before without success. This time he did get there, anchored,
went ashore and had a cup of tea with Johnny and Pat Milgate. John
tells me he stayed for about twenty minutes.
Des sailed the barge all the the way up but had to use the engine on the
way back in a short part of the twisting creek where the wind was dead
Fortunately Ralph Merry was on hand with his camera and took several
photographs, one of which is shown above.
CYGNET is a true ex.working barge, not a modern replica and is one of
the oldest working barges still in comission having been built in Kent
way back in 1881.
She was built to work in and around Harwich harbour taking small loads
John believes it must be over 100 years since a barge sailed up to to
the head of Ray Channel with and load of manure for the farms.
They also use to load hay there for the London horses. He recalls old
Peldoner Bert Ponder remembers a barge coming up in 1908 to load hay
which used to be stacked in the field behind where Lohnny and Pats
bungalow now stands
So much has changed over the last one hundred years.
Article published in Mersea Life, June 2015.