Registration number 211
Status Registered

Previous names

  • 1923 - 1974 Lady Jean
  • 1974 - 1991 Sir Alan Herbert


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Canvey Island
Vessel type Spritsail Barge
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Short Brothers, Rochester
Built in 1926
Hull material Wood
Rig Spritsail
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
21.67 feet (6.61m)
7.51 feet (2.29m)
Length: Overall
91.15 feet (27.80m)
Tonnage: Gross


Built in 1926 by Short Brothers at Rochester for Bradleys of Rochester, LADY JEAN is a Thames Sailing Barge of wooden carvel construction. Her current engine is an inboard diesel made by Kelvin (GEC) in 1973. She made history on her first commercial voyage which was to Coruna in Northern Spain; this is believed to be the longest cargo carrying trip ever made by a Thames Sailing Barge. Subsequently she traded from the Medway to ports in Cornwall carrying cement and returning with cargoes of china clay or granite. In 1937 she was sold to the maltsters R & W Paul of Ipswich who operated her for 36 years on the East Coast. During this time she was given a larger engine and her sails were progressively removed. In 1973 she was bought by the East Coast Sail Trust, completely renovated and renamed SIR ALAN HERBERT; she then worked as a school ship for the Inner London Education Authority and the Trust, sometimes cruising to Belgium and Holland.



  • September 2012

    The Sustainability Grant awarded in September 2011 has been withdrawn

  • September 2011

    A Sustainability Grant of £1000 towards the cost of replacing the mast deck was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, Edition 2, 1993    
Hugh Perks, Richard, Sprts'l: A Portrait of Sailing Barges and Sailormen, Conway Maritime Press, 1975
The Last Berth of the Sailorman, Society for Spritsail Barge Research, 1987
Wood, D G, Barges Sailing Today: Sailing Barge Information Pamplet No: 1, Society for Spritsail Barge Research, 1995
Walsh Richard, Classic Boat: Thames barging, September 1989

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