Thomas H is a Sheffield Class Humber Keel Barge.

She was built in 1940 by Richard Dunston Ltd., Thorne, Yorkshire.

She was one of two sister ships commissioned by the Hodgsons Tannery at Beverley Beck on the Humber, where she worked for many years. Her sister ship was called Richard after the other Hodgson bother.

She was never under sail, at the time she was built the government was subsidising the building of motor driven barges.

She is extra wide beam at 15.5 feet and she is 62.5 feet long.

We bought her in early 2006 through Alan Pease in Goole and roped him into emptying the various tanks and debris she had in her at the time, decking over her open hold, replacing the unusable Lister engine and generally get her onto working order for the trip down from Goole around the coast to the Thames. Then, we got him to pilot her down too.

This is a belated attempt to diary the ups and downs of our journey so far.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The trip back from dry dock; Home again, home again clickety click!

We're back home in Surrey and, much as we've loved our stay in Faversham, it's so good to be back.

We finally floated out of the dry dock and said our goodbyes to new friends and old... as well as maybe to the Faversham dock that we've come to know so well as it looks like the Standard Quay may be closing for good in the near future leaving many people without work and traditional boat owners without a great resource of talented crafts people.

To see more about this tragic loss of infrastructure and heritage, see Richard Fleury's film "The Quay"

The wonderful Colin Frake oversees our relaunch.  

Overnight mooring at the mouth of the Thames.

On our way home, we stopped for a couple of days to see some other boaty friends, Steve and Lorna, who live aboard their beautiful barge in an amazing floating community that we've taken to calling "Water-World", just down river from Tower Bridge.  

They have gorgeous garden barges, community events, all mod cons and even have their own little outdoor cinema set-up.

I took this photo of Tower Bridge from the wheel-house when we were moored up.  
Cool huh!

The only down side of water-world is that, when you're moored on the outside of the pack, every passing ship sounds like a turbine right by your head and every stupidly skippered pleasure boat speeding past creates a huge rocking motion.  

It's charms however easily out weigh these minor drawbacks, and seeing seals outside the port holes in the morning makes everything better.

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