Former skipper of Centaur returns for nostalgic trip on the Blackwater

By The Editor

7th Sep 2021 | Local News

Bryn Weightman, his wife and Trust Chairman Peter Taylor by the wheel on Centaur
Bryn Weightman, his wife and Trust Chairman Peter Taylor by the wheel on Centaur

THE former skipper of Thames sailing barge Centaur returned to Maldon at the weekend for a nostalgic trip on the historic boat.

Bryn Weightman, aged 89, was Centaur's last skipper before she became a lighter taking timber from the ships in the Blackwater to Heybridge Basin in 1955.

On Sunday (23 May) the Thames Sailing Barge Trust were pleased to welcome Bryn back on board Centaur, which was built in 1895.

Bryn, who now lives in Wales with his wife is wheelchair bound, but managed with the help of Trust volunteers to get onboard for his trip down the Blackwater.

To commemorate his return, Peter Taylor, Trust Chairman and skipper for the day, presented Bryn with a copy of the book about Centaur's history along with a signed limited edition print of Anne Plummer's painting of Centaur.

On his return to Maldon, Bryn recollected stories of his time as skipper and details of the various mates he used to work with. Bryn is thought to have been the last skipper to load a cargo of cement under sail, well after Goldsmith's sailing barge Carina.

John Rayment, archivist for the Trust, said: "This was a great opportunity for the Trust to meet someone who has a knowledge of Centaur's trading history and helps us to continue to record the history of these iconic sailing vessels."

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