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CAMBRIA is a wooden Thames sailing barge, built at Greenhithe, Kent
in 1906. She is famed as the last British registered vessel to carry
a commercial cargo under sail alone (until 1970) and as such forms
a unique part of our industrial and maritime heritage. CAMBRIA is
owned by a registered charity, the Cambria Trust, established with
the specific objective of restoring, preserving and using the famous
barge. She is in urgent need of a comprehensive rebuild at a cost
of over £1 million.
What will she be used for?
Once fully restored, CAMBRIA will be used for sail training and educational
purposes, thus preserving the vessels and introducing her to a new
audience who will be taught how she traded under sail alone - a supreme
example of environmental transport which will also promote an understanding
of new alternatives.
What public benefits will
Operating as a floating classroom, CAMBRIA will moor at a variety
of locations throughout the Thames, Medway and Swale esturaries, offering
environmental training and education in social and economic history
for Junior school children.
Young people and apprentices will take part in sail training and associated
activities. CAMBRIA will also operate as a floating museum depicting
the history of London River, extending the opportunity to encourage
interest and support from the general public.
What has been done to save
The CAMBRIA was transferred from the Maritime Trust to the care of
the Cambria Trust towards the end of 1996 and the barge was in need
of urgent care and attention. The hull of the CAMBRIA is now safely
housed in the Trust's floating dry dock and the Friends of CAMBRIA
have done their best to look after the barge with regular working
parties - and limited funds.
A £1 million project
The estimates for restoring and bringing sailing barge Cambria back
into use are over £1 million. No single body is in a position
to fund the full restoration costs and any bid for restoration is
dependent upon a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund
and/or other major funders.
An application for funding of £950K was submitted to the Heritiage
Lottery Fund in July 2006. The Trust is also working to establish
a funding partnership of bodies with a mutual interest in the scheme.
How can you help?
Join the Friends of CAMBRIA (see form) or contact the Secretary of
the Trust if you want to discuss ways in which we might work together
to ensure the continued existence and use of CAMBRIA.
Basil Brambleby, Secretary,
32, Pilgrims Way,
Cuxton, Kent, ME2 1LG