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

13:47
Exmouth TSB staff Louise Grant and Ben Pollard with Branch Manager Derek Sowden are pictured presenting a cheque that will total £540 to Richard Cousins and John Arnold from Hospiscare. Ref exe 2551-50-14. Picture: Simon Horn.

Staff at an Exmouth bank have got on their bike for Hospiscare - to round off a successful year of charity fundraising.

Read more
09:51
Exeter Magistrates Court

An Exmouth couple could be disqualified from keeping dogs after they breached a control order.

Read more
The seafront Premier Inn is taking shape. Ref exe 8371-42-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

The new Premier Inn on Exmouth seafront has started recruiting staff to fill 23 positions, now a manager and assistant manager have been recruited.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:12
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with Home Instead Senior Care.

A Budleigh-based care provider has teamed up with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to create a stronger community support network for the elderly.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Photo Orders
Competitions
Subscriptions
Facebook
Family notices
Exmouth Journal E-edition

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition
Exmouth�s trusted business finder