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Fowey Harbour Heritage Society
Pirates ahoy

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Devon and Cornwall Coastal Barges

Stuart's talk on Devon and Cornwall Coastal Barges included slides from the National Trust archives. Many of the vessels shown were
built or operated by relatives of Stuart's and this connection gave a fascinating insight into the lives of the men who operated such vessels.
Local views included a picture of sand being collected at low tide from Golant, where men alongside a boat would pile sand against the side
of the boat so that water would drain from it, before it was loaded into a basket and hauled aboard. It would take two tides to load enough sand
to fill the barge. The shallow draft of these vessels also enabled them to get upriver to Lerryn and Pont.
Some of the barges started their lives as Luggers which were fast vessels and were used for fishing, but as time passed and the fishing industry
could no longer provide a good income; a lot of vessels were converted to barges to carry cargo. In later years the Hunkin family also installed
engines in order to keep competitive, the time for sailing barges had passed.


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