A NEW owner is being sought for a classic Thames sailing barge which dates back 120 years.
Sailing Barge Beric was built in Harwich in 1896 and has a varied career, from her original purpose moving cargo up and down the river through to being a house boat, a night club and charter boat.
Listed on the National Historic Ships register, the Beric has been owned by Alistair and Jo since 2009 but they're now looking for new owners to take on the vessel.
We would like to ensure that Beric is preserved as a living part of Britain's maritime heritage but we are forced to face the fact that she is now in need of more work to keep her afloat than we will ever be able to afford. Tim Goldsack has been looking after her at his shipyard in Faversham but she needs a complete rebuild to prevent her from disintegrating. We are not in a position to manage that, so so with enormous regret we are forced to contemplate the break up and destruction of this piece of Britain's history. We don't want to do that.
Rather than have her broken up, we would prefer to donate her to a charity, trust or individual who has the time and capacity to restore and revive her as a long-term project. This might be a company which has a history of having Thames barges as a part of its own heritage, an individual or family who has a love of or connection with these vessels, or a trust or foundation interested in preserving our maritime heritage. It might be a collection of interested people; there is no reason why ownership could not pass to a group of people with a shared interest. We would remain committed to supporting the new owner or owners in any way we could to ensure that Beric's legacy continues.
Are you that organisation or individual, or do you know of anyone who might be interested? Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who might have an interest, or advertise this opportunity in places where people might see it. We are happy to answer any questions. We are open to any ideas or offers that would give Beric a fighting chance of survival.
Photos of SB Beric provided by Alistair and Jo from 2011
Alistair and Jo can be contacted by interested parties on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07772 342724.