Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Community helps out with barge restoration

09:00 20 January 2013

The Thames Barge Vigilant, which is currently being restored at Topsham Quay.

The Thames Barge Vigilant, which is currently being restored at Topsham Quay.

Archant

Restoration work on the Thames barge moored in Topsham Quay is now well under way, with members of the community pitching in to help out.

Vigilant was rotting in a boat yard in Essex before it was bought by Benjamin Squirrell.

His friend, Topsham boat builder Dave McCabe, then visited the boat to carry out enough repairs for it to be brought back to Topsham late last year.

Now it is safely moored at the Quay, work has begun on stripping wood from the side of the barge.

Dave said: “An elderly lady had lived in it for about 14 years … and since then nothing was done to it and it started rotting in fresh water.

“We repaired the bottom in Essex, and the rudder was redone to get her back. Now we’re removing the outer planks to expose the frames, taking any out which are bad or rotten and replacing the frames with oak.

“It looks like a mess, but in real terms everything’s here to make it work. We hope that in about a year and a half we’ll be up and running – we won’t be here for years and years.”

During its time in Topsham, the boat has attracted many interested spectators, and some of these have volunteered to help out with the restoration.

Dave said: “We want people to see what we’re doing. Everyone’s interested in it and instead of making it closed off, we want everybody to join in.”

One of the volunteers helping to strip down the barge is Tony Cooper.

He said: “I think [my interest is] basically because it’s history, and you have to maintain it and restore it and show it to the next generation.

“I’m a retired headteacher so my interest is in the education side of things. We can’t get kids down here at the moment, but if people don’t do it we’ll never have it, and kids won’t know about these types of barges.”

To find out more about Vigilant, or to volunteer to help, email info@vigilantbarge.com.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Exmouth emergency services are supporting Hospiscare's Twilight Walk

Exmouth’s emergency services have shown their support for this summer’s Hospiscare Twilight Walk.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Colin Long chairman of the Topsham pool with the President Cyryl Harrison. Ref ext 02-16TI 9300. Picture: Terry Ife

Topsham Swimming Pool is set to receive a cash boost from Devon county councillor Andrew Leadbetter, as part of an ongoing fight to keep the facility open

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

People will have the chance to quiz police during a drop-in session at the town’s library on Wednesday, February 17.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Pictured: Assistant Shop Manager Judy Prytherch (left) and Shop Manager Sue Redfern (right) outside the new store.

The Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) charity shop is on the move to larger premises - because of its popularity.

Read more
Fri, 16:30
Budleigh Croquet Club. Ref exb 1326-19-07SH

Members of Budleigh Croquet Club have said farewell to their groundsman after 31 years in the role.

Read more
Fri, 12:30

A new solar farm on the edge of Brixington has been approved by district planners.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
Close-up of woman's mouth

The potential amount of money that could be saved is the equivalent to 364,000 dental check-ups.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
French flag

The next meeting of the Budleigh Salterton Anglo-French Society will be taking place on Monday, February 15, at 7.30pm.

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8687. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth animal’s strange powers of prediction

Read more
Fri, 11:00
Ollie the mind-reading Llama and his owner, Maggie Jee of Peak Hill Llamas. Ref shs 05-16AW 8675. Picture: Alex Walton

‘Sidmouth animal can read minds’, says owner

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications