Reminder’s History

With 90 years of history under her sails, Reminder will have a story or two to share with her guests.

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Reminder was built of steel in 1929 at the Horlock Yard in Mistley, Essex to beat 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 who worked Reminder to bring Barley to Brooks Maltings. Much of the barley was loaded from the Albert Dock in London on the Thames.

Dick Cresswell was her last skipper under sail with no engine and was with Reminder when she was converted to power at Rowhedge Ironworks in 1947/48 and he became her first skipper as a motor barge.

Horlocks Yard 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 her first paying guests on sailing holidays.

In 2002, Topsail Charters took on her ownership, and Reminder is now listed with the National Historic Ships Register as a “Designated Vessel”. She still competes in the annual Barge Matches and at 90 years old, Fred Horlock would probably be very proud to have left future generations such a “reminder”.

Skipper profile

Skipper Paul

Having grown up on Barges, Paul is the perfect part-owner and skipper of Reminder.

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Life onboard


Reminder is perfect for those that have never sailed, offering home comfort below decks while exploring beautiful estuaries.

Read Reminder's Adventure Logs
The History of


One of the last Thames barges ever made, Reminder is also one that is still sailing the East Coast today!

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