News

East Anglia Regional Flagship is awarded the Broad Pennant

10 August 2017

Last Monday 7th August Reminder, the NHS-UK East Anglia Regional Flagship of the year, was awarded the broad pennant which it will fly throughout the 2017 season in recognition of its flagship status.  The pennant was received by owners Paul Jeffries and Stephanie Valentine of Topsail Charters and was formally presented by the NHS-UK Council member Stuart Wilkinson.

Reminder, built in 1929, is one of the last spritsail barges becoming champion barge in her class in both the Thames and Medway matches in her first year.

Her large sail plan was reduced six years later to make her more manageable as a working barge. The main trade at Mistley when Reminder was built was bringing barley to Brooks’ maltings and Free Rodwell’s maltings, usually from the Royal Albert Dock in London, but sometimes from ships unloading in Butterman’s Bay on the River Orwell, and carrying malt from the maltings to breweries.

Converted in a motor barge at Rowhedge Ironworks during the 1940s, she was restore back as sailing barge in 1975 in Pin Mill, before moving to a permanent basis in Maldon. Here she started to be used as a holiday vessel along the Essex and Suffolk coasts. Her cargo hold was converted to accommodate fourteen passenger berths, plus a saloon, galley and bathroom.

In 2002 Topsail Charters took on her ownership, setting up a new company, Reminder (1929) Ltd, which owns and maintains her. She now offers groups or individuals weekend breaks, and sometimes runs five-day midweek trips. She can also be hired over the winter as a ‘cottage’ on Maldon Quay.

Reminder  is a very regular and successful competitor in barge matches: in 2010 won the Sailing Barge Championships, based on points awarded by the Sailing Barge Association for results in nine different matches. In that year she won the Medway staysail class and the Blackwater senior staysail class. 

Visit the website http://www.top-sail.co.uk/ for updates and further details on the East Anglia Flagship.

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