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Photos by Seamus Masters

Last month the 1897 Thames Sailing Barge Dawn sailed up Faversham Creek to deliver a cargo of Fairtrade goods. Organised by the Sail Cargo Alliance, the Schooner “Gallant” brought a cargo of provisions from Portugal and the Caribbean under sail to London and Kent. At Queenborough, these were unloaded on to the Dawn who then sailed them round to Faversham and Whitstable for delivery to customers.

This initiative marks the beginning of an enterprise to bring high-quality produce under sail from different countries with a simplified and fairer distribution system, namely Farmer-Sailor-Vendor.

It is hoped that Faversham is able to welcome more such visits in the future.

The Dawn was completely rebuilt by Faversham based shipwright Tim Goldsack and his team in 2001 with a Heritage Grant of about £700,000. Tim later went on to rebuild the bigger barge Cambria with a lottery grant of £1.4 million. This restoration took several years and was undertaken at Standard Quay while it was still a working boatyard.


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