DAA Residential
Whats in Wapping

Around the bend (and back again) in the Cabby Sailing Barge

Around the bend (and back again) in the Cabby Sailing Barge

Last Friday evening a lucky group of Wapping history enthusiasts were invited by Hermitage River Projects to join them for a leisurely cruise down the river in the magnificent Thames Sailing Barge (SB) Cabby.

The SB Cabby was the last Thames sailing barge to be built of wood and was launched at Strood near Rochester in 1928.

And if you were wondering about the origin of her name it comes from the original owner’s wife’s dog.

Skipper Ian Ruffles and mate David Bridges welcomed everyone aboard and made sure everyone was comfortable in the cockpit. At seven pm she cast off from Hermitage Moorings and our magical tour started.

Wapping from the outside looking in

As we slowly cruised down the Thames it was very interesting to see Wapping from the outside looking in! As ever Ray Newton was generous with his vast knowledge of the area and pointed out locations of interest.

Although it was not the sunniest of evenings (no surprise there) it didn’t rain and it was not too cold!

Making the most of the Wapping river views

Everyone relaxed with a drink or two or just a nice cup of tea and chatted with friends new and old. Or made their way around the Cabby to make the most of the views and inspect the barge more closely.

Before we knew it the return trip had started and by nine o’clock we were docked back at Hermitage where Ian and David made sure that everyone disembarked safely. Just in case too much shandy had been enjoyed!

Many thanks to John Tarby, Trustee of the History of Wapping Trust for sharing his flip video of the Cabby trip.

More SB Cabby trips please!

This was a fantastic trip and many thanks to all involved in organising it.

What’s In Wapping is sure that many more people would like to enjoy a trip on the Cabby and hopes that more trips will be organised in the near future?

Kind thanks to Wapping photographer Mark Baynes for sharing photographs of the Cabby trip.

Trouble seeing the photos? View on Flickr

History of the Cabby

The Cabby worked as a motor barge carrying grain, animal feeds and other bulk cargoes sailing between London and the east and south coast ports with the occasional trip to the near continent.

During the Dunkirk crisis of 1940 she was enlisted as part of Operation Dynamo. Initially tasked to take drums of fresh water to the troops waiting evacuation on the beaches at the last moment she was diverted to the Clyde.

The Cabby worked continuously until 1970 when she was ‘rerigged’ as a company charter barge. Charlie McLaren now owns this magnificent vessel.

The Cabby has a sailing capacity of 40 passengers and static capacity of 50. Her dining facilities allow for 32 sitting down or 50 for a buffet.

Book the Cabby for your special event or cruise

For more information about the Cabby and to book her for your special event see www.sailingbargecabby.co.uk.

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  • Helen

    Lovely stuff, what a worthwhile exercise. Very sorry I missed it. Hope they put on another of these trips soon and explore the feasibility of making this a regular feature. Living where we do, we should be able to enjoy the river more, in a variety of ways.