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View Full Version : eGroup Meetup Thames Barge Race, Maldon, Essex - 9th July 2011


The Saint
24th May 2011, 01:00 PM
This is just a feeler to see if anyone might be interested and if it is worth me investigating further.

In previous years I have watched the sail barges and yachts return from the race making their way back down the Blackwater Estuary to Maldon and there has been a significant amount of action "on the water" to capture, along with the other sights in and around the Maldon area.

The following link will give you some idea about Thames barges, these are magnificant sailing barges which use to transport goods and are now been converted for pleasure trips.

Thames Sailing Barge (http://www.sailingbargeassociation.co.uk/)

My initial thought is to capture the barges on their return to Maldon which will be sometime in the late afternoon. If anyone wishes to we could convene earlier and have a stroll along the navigation to the weir and back along the river. I would intend viewing the barges from the Heybridge side the estuary near the Basin locks where there is a couple of pubs if we need to "wet our whistles". While we watch some of the boats entering the lock.

After the barges have passed we could hop in our cars if desired and get around to the Hythe where the barges moor. There is likely to be quite a lot of activity on the Hythe that evening as this significant event on the Maldon calendar (there are a few more pubs on the Hythe and a good fish and chip shop on the high street).

I'll try and post a few images from my previous visits to give you a feeling for the event in the next couple of days.

Simon

Melaka
24th May 2011, 05:51 PM
Sadly I'm already booked for something else otherwise I'd be there like a shot. My family, who lived in Tollesbury, owned several barges but none have survived. Strongly recommended to anyone who likes taking marine photos.

Invicta
24th May 2011, 06:48 PM
I have a real soft spot for old sailing boats so I would be interested in such an event.

PeterBirder
24th May 2011, 07:32 PM
A good idea Simon.
These barges are fantastic and beautifuly preserved. I'm very fortunate and get to make one or two trips on one each year as a guide on birdwatching trips run by Topsail Charters of Maldon and Essex Wildlife Trust. The Topsail website www.top-sail.co.uk has some interesting information on the barges and some 360 degree interactive panos.

Regards.

Andrew Riddell
24th May 2011, 07:39 PM
I'd be interested (other commitments permitting!).

Andrew

Zuiko
24th May 2011, 07:45 PM
I'm up for it, Simon, count me in. :)

The Saint
24th May 2011, 08:16 PM
Peter

I wondered who did the talk on the barge for the Essex Wildlife Trust. I've been tempted to book one of the trips for a long time, but never got around to it.

Simon

PeterBirder
24th May 2011, 10:19 PM
Peter

I wondered who did the talk on the barge for the Essex Wildlife Trust. I've been tempted to book one of the trips for a long time, but never got around to it.

Simon

Well I guess you've been put off the idea now you know I'm involved.:rolleyes:

Seriously, the trips are good fun. There is a small team from Abberton who do this and we have three of us on each trip to point out and identify birds and other wildlife. Weather can have big effect on what we see but the sail is always interesting. Having said that I did one of the trips from Maldon which combines a short sail with a guided walk along the sea wall when we had snow showers and a gale and couldn't get off the quay. Even that worked out as Paul, the owner, gave a fascinating off the cuff talk about the barges and we still had the excellent hot meal that is provided. Then unfortunately one of my colleagues asked if anyone still wanted to go for the walk and six people said yes! Not the best conditions for birding.

Regards

Zuiko
25th May 2011, 07:45 AM
Well I guess you've been put off the idea now you know I'm involved.:rolleyes:

Seriously, the trips are good fun. There is a small team from Abberton who do this and we have three of us on each trip to point out and identify birds and other wildlife. Weather can have big effect on what we see but the sail is always interesting. Having said that I did one of the trips from Maldon which combines a short sail with a guided walk along the sea wall when we had snow showers and a gale and couldn't get off the quay. Even that worked out as Paul, the owner, gave a fascinating off the cuff talk about the barges and we still had the excellent hot meal that is provided. Then unfortunately one of my colleagues asked if anyone still wanted to go for the walk and six people said yes! Not the best conditions for birding.

Regards

Hi Peter,

I went on one of these trips a couple of years ago and fortunately we had better weather than the trip you describe! It was a great day out, I wonder if you was one of our guides? :)

gwpics
25th May 2011, 09:58 AM
I am very tempted by this but it is quite a long drive. Maybe I could make a weekend of it. Any idea what time would be best to get to Maldon?

Thanks!

Gerry

PeterBirder
25th May 2011, 10:11 AM
Hi Peter,

I went on one of these trips a couple of years ago and fortunately we had better weather than the trip you describe! It was a great day out, I wonder if you was one of our guides? :)

Possibly, especialy if the experience put you off birding.:)

I hope to be OK for 9 July. My op went fine on Friday but as often happens I've developed a slight infection in the wound which will delay recovery a bit.

Regards

Zuiko
25th May 2011, 10:35 AM
Possibly, especialy if the experience put you off birding.:)

I hope to be OK for 9 July. My op went fine on Friday but as often happens I've developed a slight infection in the wound which will delay recovery a bit.

Regards

Hi Peter,

Glad the op went well, but sorry to hear about the infection. Hope it clears up soon, but I expect you'll feel sore for a while anyway. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. :)

Wee man
25th May 2011, 12:25 PM
Glad all went well take care of yourself.

gwpics
29th May 2011, 11:05 AM
I have asked here what time during the day it would be good to get there, and also sent a personal email to Simon, and so far both questions have remain unanswered. I am beginning to feel unwanted there. :( :confused:

Gerry

The Saint
29th May 2011, 03:10 PM
Gerry

I haven't been ignoring you, I was hoping to get a response to confirm the likely time, but I've not yet received anything yet.

From what I can find out on various websites the race vary rarely finishes on time as it is dependant on the final course that is set and the weather conditions. My best guess is they'll pass around 3-5pm, but I'll try and get some further clarity on this.

If it is a nice day, a walk along the sea wall or a bit of bird spotting on old quarry lake can easily kill an hour or two and there is always the pub if things get really bad.

Sorry for not being able to provide any more certainty.

Simon

gwpics
29th May 2011, 04:05 PM
Thanks Simon. That makes it more likely that I may be able to get up as it is a couple of hours at least from here, and if it was a 10 a.m. finish I was unlikely to get enthusiastic enough to get out of bed.

Gerry

maccabeej
9th June 2011, 12:26 PM
Hi
I would like to come along but off to Morocco for three weeks early next week, so unsure of committments. Will be in touch when I get back to see if it's still on.
Jim

gwpics
17th June 2011, 07:25 AM
Thanks Simon. That makes it more likely that I may be able to get up as it is a couple of hours at least from here, and if it was a 10 a.m. finish I was unlikely to get enthusiastic enough to get out of bed.

Gerry

I have now booked a room at a Travel Lodge on the A12 for 8 July, so my wife and I should be there. Looking forward to meeting a few of you! *chr

Gerry

The Saint
20th June 2011, 05:45 PM
Gerry

Not ignoring you again, but work is a little mad at the moment.

I'll post something later this week with the intend plan for the day.

I assume your staying in the travel lodge near Boreham?

I'm not sure what you are thinking of doing in the morning, but might be able to suggest a few things, where to eat, etc.

Simon

gwpics
20th June 2011, 06:22 PM
Simon

Thanks for your message, and I was not feeling ignored at all. We are booked in at travel Lodge, Colchester Feering but I am not sure if that is the one you mean. The room was VERY cheap, so if it rains I will simply take the loss.

In the morning we will probably just explore the area as it is not somewhere I know at all, and it looks interesting along the coast.

Looking forward to hopefully getting together.

Gerry

The Saint
27th June 2011, 07:46 AM
Morning Folks

Sorry another busy weekend so didn't get on the computer. Had a very interesting walk around the National Trust Site at Orfordness on Saturday, but that is a different subject!


So the plans for 9th July and the Thames Barge Race.

From what I can gleem, the barges be leaving Maldon early doors (around 7ish). They are due back in Maldon at a more reasonable 5pm ish.

As the course is set on the day based on wind conditions and the like, it is difficult to tell where they will be other than at the start and finish of the day.

Although they won't be racing, I would suggest we meet at Heybridge Basin, slightly down the Estuary from Maldon. Heybridge is an ideal location to watch the barges and other yachts as not only is it the inlet to the navigation, which is normally busling at high tide, but it is possible to walk along the sea wall to opposite Maldon Quay where the Barges will dock.

Although the main floatila of barges/yachts are likely to pass between 3pm and 5pm (again all subject to weather conditions), I was going to suggest that if anyone would like to meet up around 1pm for a bite to eat at the pub (The Ship) or cafe (Tiptree Jam Cafe), this will give us sometime to chat and have a wander (there is normally something of interest happening around the basin).

There is a free car park near the basin link (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Heybridge+Basin,+Maldon&hl=en&ll=51.729656,0.707948&spn=0.001695,0.004812&sll=53.852527,-4.042969&sspn=13.245274,39.418945&t=h&z=18), which can easily be seen from on the google map link and is signposted.

I don't think there is anymore I can add at the moment, but if you have any questions please do shout.

I'll circulate contact details via PM to everyone next week.

Regards

Simon

P.S. If an admin would be as kind as to remove the words "potential" from the post title I would be grateful.

gwpics
27th June 2011, 07:58 AM
Simon

Many thanks for the detailed update. All being well I hope my wife and I will join you all where ever lunch is. If the weather is too bad then I am afraid we won't be traveling up, but hopefully it will be great!

Gerry

The Saint
27th June 2011, 08:01 AM
Gerry

On the weather front we will have to make a decision nearer the time.

I think only the hardcore would want to stand out on the sea wall in the rain!

Regards

Simon

carlos
27th June 2011, 08:41 AM
Hi all, I would love to try and make this, however I'm still very new to all this, would it be ok for a newbie to come along?

I need all the help and tips I can get

Zuiko
27th June 2011, 10:03 AM
Hi all, I would love to try and make this, however I'm still very new to all this, would it be ok for a newbie to come along?

I need all the help and tips I can get

Hi Carlos,

Of course! This tye of event is ideal for someone new to the hobby and we will be only too pleased to help. I look forward to meeting you. :)

The Saint
27th June 2011, 11:56 AM
Carlos

Your more than welcome to come along, although it looks like it would be a fair drive for you.

We should really try and get some events in the midlands arranged!

From previous get together's it is all quite relaxed, nothing formal or too serious. Members are normally more than happy to give advice where they can.

Simon

PeterBirder
27th June 2011, 04:39 PM
Hi Simon.
I'm up for this, pretty well recovered from my op and back to walking again.
Looking forward to meeting you again and all the other folks.

Regards.

birdboy
1st July 2011, 09:41 PM
Unfortunately I am busy that weekend otherwise I would have liked to come along.

Thanks for the time to set this up Simon I'll keep an eye on events from now on.

John

The Saint
6th July 2011, 06:28 PM
Well the BBC says light showers for Saturday and the MET office sunny with clouds, now who do you believe?

I'm quite happy to go if it's raining or not as it's only 5 miles from home, but I'll leave it up to each individual to make their own mind up based upon their circumstances.

Can I suggest we review the weather forecast on Friday morning and make a final decision then.

As far as attendees I've got the following people hoping to come: -

Peterbirder
Zuiko
Carlos
GWpics
Andrew Riddell
Invicta

maccabeej (possible)

I went down to Heybridge this weekend and the normally quite car park I have previously suggest was full (there was a festival on). I'm hoping on Saturday that as we are arriving well before the barges pass that we should be able to get parked, if not there is limited on street parking (St George Close looks possibe if you park on the grass) but it should be possible to park closer to Maldon (Bates Road) and then walk back along the sea wall towards Heybridge.

If we lotter close to the car park until everyone arrives we can come up with a solution.

I'll circulate my contact details on Friday by PM.

Regards

Simon

maccabeej
6th July 2011, 09:33 PM
Hi Simon

I will be there so can be moved off the possibles list.

Jim

Invicta
7th July 2011, 07:39 PM
Well the BBC says light showers for Saturday and the MET office sunny with clouds, now who do you believe?

I'm quite happy to go if it's raining or not as it's only 5 miles from home, but I'll leave it up to each individual to make their own mind up based upon their circumstances.

Can I suggest we review the weather forecast on Friday morning and make a final decision then.

As far as attendees I've got the following people hoping to come: -

Peterbirder
Zuiko
Carlos
GWpics
Andrew Riddell
Invicta

maccabeej (possible)

I went down to Heybridge this weekend and the normally quite car park I have previously suggest was full (there was a festival on). I'm hoping on Saturday that as we are arriving well before the barges pass that we should be able to get parked, if not there is limited on street parking (St George Close looks possibe if you park on the grass) but it should be possible to park closer to Maldon (Bates Road) and then walk back along the sea wall towards Heybridge.

If we lotter close to the car park until everyone arrives we can come up with a solution.

I'll circulate my contact details on Friday by PM.

Regards

Simon

Hi Simon and all

Metcheck website suggests good weather for Saturday. I plan to arrive about 11:00 am: M25 traffic permitting.

gwpics
7th July 2011, 07:43 PM
I am sorry to say that you are going to have to forego the pleasure of my company. I have decided that the vagaries of the weather coupled with the cost of the 300 mile round trip have meant that I have decided to stay at home. This means that you will all have fabulous weather and get some cracking shots!

Gerry

Zuiko
7th July 2011, 08:15 PM
I am sorry to say that you are going to have to forego the pleasure of my company. I have decided that the vagaries of the weather coupled with the cost of the 300 mile round trip have meant that I have decided to stay at home. This means that you will all have fabulous weather and get some cracking shots!

Gerry

Sorry that we won't get the opportunity to meet you on this occasion, Gerry, but 300 miles is a long way and these days very expensive so I can see why you've come to this decision. :)

The Saint
7th July 2011, 09:03 PM
Gerry

Sorry to hear you won't be coming, but I can understand with a journey of that length.

Invicta, 11am will be low tide at Heybridge so there won't be much to see apart from mud. As I've highlighted before the course for the barge race is not set until the day, but you may be able to see them from Tollebury (if you walk along the sea wall) or Bradwell. Alternatively Maldon is an interesting little town and the high street is not full of your normal chain shops. Alternatively you could park in the Tesco's on Fullbridge and walk along the canal to the weir and back along the river, which is quite nice if the weather is good, quite often see a lot of wading birds in the mud and supposedly there are some local kingfishers on the canal.

Simon

Andrew Riddell
7th July 2011, 10:01 PM
Weather permitting, I'm planning on looking at the church, mill warehouse and Power Museum at Langford before heading into Heybridge for lunch and meet-up.

For those interested, the church has the only Norman west-end apse in the UK (OK, I know this is sad!)

Andrew

Zuiko
7th July 2011, 11:26 PM
For those interested, the church has the only Norman west-end apse in the UK (OK, I know this is sad!)

Andrew

It cetainly is sad, I would have hoped for many more than that!

The Saint
8th July 2011, 07:18 AM
Saturday looks like it could be a mixed bag on the weather front, although getting better for the afternoon.

Everyone who has shown an interest should have a PM from me with my contact details.

Regards

Simon

Andrew Riddell
8th July 2011, 11:25 AM
It cetainly is sad, I would have hoped for many more than that!

John, the point is that east-end apses are relatively common, but this church originally had west and east apses (the east one was demolished in the 15th century) which is a design style common in the Rhineland, but not anywhere else.

Apologies for the architectural digression!

Andrew

Zuiko
8th July 2011, 12:21 PM
Apologies for the architectural digression!

Andrew

Not at all, it means I've learnt something today, which is never a bad thing. :)

Xpres
8th July 2011, 08:42 PM
Hope it's not too late to join the party? I'm looking for something to do tomorrow afternoon and this looks a great idea.

The Saint
9th July 2011, 06:21 AM
More than welcome to come.

I've just got up and it is beautiful blue sky outside, so the BBC were right and the met office wrong.

Simon

gwpics
9th July 2011, 06:56 AM
Hope everyone has a great shoot today. Maybe I made the wrong decision, but it is too late now. Enjoy!

Gerry

Zuiko
9th July 2011, 08:10 PM
Hope everyone has a great shoot today. Maybe I made the wrong decision, but it is too late now. Enjoy!

Gerry

Hi Gerry, we had a great day but there was a lot of waiting around as the barges were running late. However, when they did come past the sun broke through at just the right time. It was a pity that due to the wind they were under power insiead of under sail, but still good to see.

We had two come via the M25 and both said the traffic was bad so I think you made the right decision, but it would have been nice to have met you. Maybe another time. :)

Zuiko
10th July 2011, 03:04 AM
I've started a new thread for pictures of this event. http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15832

The Saint
10th July 2011, 07:01 AM
Thanks to everyone to came along yesterday. Sorry everything took so long (food and barges), but at least the weather and company was good.

Simon

PeterBirder
10th July 2011, 11:12 AM
Thanks for organising the meet Simon. A most enjoyable day and great to meet some other members.

Regards.*chr