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Thames Barge ‘Blue Mermaid’ delivers grain to Woodbridge Tide Mill in first leg of voyage for young and vulnerable adults’ charity.

Grain from Kent will be taken across the Thames estuary under sail to the Suffolk Port of Woodbridge to be milled at Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum.

The flour produced will then be taken to Brightlingsea, to be used aboard another Thames sailing barge in May, for the Bread and Roses Barge Project

It’s all part of a Lottery Heritage Funded voyage to ten ports around the East Coast.

Each of the ten voyages will be crewed by youth trainees taking part in the newly launched Traditional Seafarer Course.

In each port the barge will be open to the public to come aboard and view the barge and the exhibition in the hold informing people about the heritage of the Thames sailing barge which was once a common sight along the Thames estuary, Kent and Essex coasts.

There will also be two screenings of the acclaimed new nautical film ‘Wind, Tide & Oar’ in the atmospheric hold of the barge.

The journey started on Saturday 27th April with the delivery of a sack of grain grown in Kent to the engineless Thames sailing barge; Blue Mermaid at Gravesend Pier.

The object of the voyages is to raise funds for and awareness of the Sea-Change Sailing Trust, an Essex-based charity, that owns and operates Blue Mermaid. The sailing barge takes young people and vulnerable adults on life-skills-building residential voyages.



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