Cambria to be re-built with £990,000 lotto cash

Cambria the last British vessel to trade under sail alone has been saved – thanks to a £990,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The mule-rigged sailing barge was skippered in her final trading years by Bob Roberts, a YM contributor. Sailing as mate aboard the craft over her last 14 months with Bob was YM’s Dick Durham.

Tenders for her re-build are being invited from barge shipwrights at various ports including Faversham, Kent and Maldon, Essex.

Speaking of the award, Tony Ellis, Chairman of Trustees of the Cambria Trust said ‘The support has been magnificent either with goods and services or financial contributions – from individuals, City livery companies, Thames-side industry, the Port of London Authority and Medway Ports Authority. ‘

Operating as a floating classroom, Cambria will moor at a variety of locations throughout the Thames, Medway and Swale estuaries, offering environmental training and education in social and economic history for school children, working closely with educational charities, port authorities, local authorities and the RSPB.