Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Thames sailing barge Melissa heads from Ipswich to London for London Boat Show

12:00 08 January 2016

Jonathan Webb of the Pin Mill boatbuilding family on board the Thames sailing barge Melissa in Ipswich

Jonathan Webb of the Pin Mill boatbuilding family on board the Thames sailing barge Melissa in Ipswich

Archant

Historic Thames sailing barge Melissa has headed from Ipswich to London dockland for the London Boat Show.

The 80ft Victorian vessel, based at Ipswich and Pin Mill, joins hundreds of boats, dinghies and luxury yachts and super cruisers at the Excel Exhibition Centre for the annual event.

Jonathan Webb, of Pin Mill boat yard, at Orwell Quay, said it was a chance to tell people about what they were doing with the classic boat, which took a decade to restore, and possibly pick up some charter work.

“A boat like this is expensive to maintain, and always wants something doing. I would love to get a new set of sails, for example, and they are a lot of money,” he said.

The Melissa, now owned by the family business, Webbs Marine Ltd, has been helped by the British Marine Federation to attend the show, along with other historic vessels, but pays her way by charter work and hosting events on the water or at the quayside, often in Ipswich.

After her Thames barge trading days were over, the Melissa became a house boat and carried ballast before Jonathan and father, Fred, bought her for restoration in 1994.

“It was a big job and it took more than 10 years, but she is real living history, and a lovely boat,” he said.

In 2012 the boat is a previous visitor to the London Boat Show and took part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames.

“The weather was terrible but it was still a fantastic experience,” said Jonathan.

Restoring the historic barge had been a great pleasure, he said, and last summer they were proud to win a trophy, The Charles Webb Cup, in the annual Thames Barge Sailing Race on the Orwell.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Four fire crews are tackling a tree and grass fire around the Wherstead Road area of Ipswich.

This palace was more ‘bling’ than Versailles. So why don’t we all know about it?

One of Suffolk’s best-known and most prominent landmarks has been put up for sale with a price tag of £5million.

A coastal resort is to lose its Tourist Information Centre – because it is not being used enough.

Stopping a particularly high spring tide from flooding Ipswich is, on paper, relatively simple, writes John Norman, of The Ipswich Society.

A nine-year-old boy from Suffolk is preparing to fly to Rome for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – where he will sing for the Pope.

A 62-year-old motorcyclist who died at the scene of a two vehicle collision near RAF Barnham on Thursday has been named as Peter Hancock from Sudbury.

It’s been nearly 50 years since women workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant went on strike for equal rights, writes Wayne Savage.

Police have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection to a burglary in Braintree.

A fire engine from Ipswich’s Princes Street station was called to extinguish a fire in a pile of rubbish this morning.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24