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Norfolk sailor from Nelson country needs £500 to bring Thames barge home for restoration

Ash Faire Ring is passionate about sailing. Pictures: supplied by Ash Faire Ring

Ash Faire Ring is passionate about sailing. Pictures: supplied by Ash Faire Ring

Archant

Being a north Norfolk lad and living close to where the great Nelson was born, it’s perhaps not surprising that teenager Ash Faire Ring is passionate about sailing and boats.

Work being carried out on the Growler in days gone by. Pictures: supplied by Ash Faire RingWork being carried out on the Growler in days gone by. Pictures: supplied by Ash Faire Ring

He has been in love with the sea since he was a toddler, and he was just 10 when he made his first boat.

For his current project he needs to raise £500 to transport an historic Thames barge from Dedham, Suffolk to his home village of Burnham Overy Staithe to restore it.

The 17-year-old fell in love with the 32ft Thames sailing barge Growler when he first saw it, and the owner gave it to him to restore.

The Gresham’s School pupil said: “The first project is to transport her to Burnham Overy Staithe where we can build a tent over her. We can then conduct a survey as to how much work is needed.

“Growler is 32ft-long and was built in Ipswich in 1922.

“She is a very unique vessel as she is a scaled-down version of the mighty racing barge Sara of which only one was ever built.

“She spent many years sailing on the Swale and around Benfleet harbour before falling into a state of disrepair.”

Growler was then rescued by a local boatbuilder and put in a barn in Dedham for restoration.

The youngster added: “My cousin took me down to see it and I fell in love with it. Twenty-five years later the owner very kindly gave it to me to finish off the project and get her sailing again.

“Growler epitomises the golden age of sail. This is a dream come true for me and I want as many people as possible to share it with me.”

He said the vessel needs a couple of finishing touches to get her back in the water.

He added: “I want to restore her to full sailing conditions and then use her for leisure cruising. I’m also very interested in the Ocean Cleanup project to rid the world of plastic. I want to promote the use of recycled products.”

England’s greatest naval hero Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe.

for more, see www.crowdfunder.co.uk/transport-bargegrowler



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