TOPSAIL CHARTERS Ltd
Tel: 01621 857 567
Reminder was built of steel in 1929 at the Horlock Yard in Mistley, Essex by FW Horlock (Fred) to beat his competitors in the annual barge races and to “remind” them who was best – she won her first race, the Medway Barge race in 1929.
Her first skipper was James Snow Stone, a local Mistley man and the main trade at Mistley in those days, was bringing Barley to Brooks Maltings. Much of the barley was loaded from the Albert Dock in London.
Dick Cresswell was her last skipper under sail and was with the barge when she was converted to power at Rowhedge Ironworks in 1947 or 48 and he became her first skipper as a motor barge.
During the 1960’s Reminder was in the ballast trade (still under the ownership of Horlock’s) but Horlocks were eventually bought out by Amey Roadstone and Reminder was employed by them on the ballast run across to the Medway when the M2 was being built.
The last owners in trade were Webbs of Pin Mill.
In 1975, Roger Beckett bought her from Webbs and began her restoration back to sail at Pin Mill before bringing her to her permanent base at Maldon. She was soon to be a regular sight in her traditional sailing waters of the Essex and Suffolk Coast, taking guests on 7 day sailing holidays, marketed under Anglian Yacht Services.
In 2002, she joined the Topsail fleet of Sailing Barges and now earns her living taking guests away for weekend breaks, has a contract with a training provider for mid-week trips and can be hire over the winter as a “cottage” on Maldon Quay.
Reminder is listed with the National Historic Ships Register as a “Designated Vessel”, mainly because so much of her structure is original – the rivets used on the steel plating are still visible and she has so far avoided the need for a new bottom.
In 2010, aged 81, she was Champion Barge for the season, winning the most points over the 7 annual barge races – Fred Horlock would probably be very proud to have left future generations such a “reminder”. In 2016 she still competed in three of the annual sailing barge races.