|Photographer:||Ben [View profile]||Title:||Thistle||Added:||Jan 09, 2008|
||Traditional rig sailing ships under 120'(36.6m)LOA|
|Built in 1895 by William Hamilton and Sons in Port Glasgow, Thistle is the only surviving sailing barge to have been built in Scotland.
Eighty-six feet long and twenty feet wide, she could carry a cargo approaching 200 tons. Without an engine through two world wars she traded all round the coast of the United Kingdom, carrying general cargo to and from the then great Port of London.
A 66 hp engine was installed in 1946 and some years later she was de-rigged and turned into a pure motor barge, until she was sold out of trade in 1972.
The next 15 years she spent as a house barge on the River Medway and in Battersea.
In 1987 her most recent refit was begun at Greenwich. Her first charter was in the summer of 1988.
Most vessels the age of Thistle have long been scrapped or built into museums as part of our maritime heritage.
Thistle has not only been rebuilt to the higest sea-going standard, she has also been given a new role.
No longer suited after 95 years to carrying cargo, she will now be carrying people, it is hoped for at least the next century.
Seen at Faversham creek.9th Jan
photo copyright Ben @ riverthames.co.nr