|Charles Hay and Son,|
|London Lighterman. |
Portcities website. c.1910.
Charles Hay was clearly a successful lighterman and barge builder in his own right, having established his own business in 1789, a long time before his father's death nearly forty years later, although it is entirely likely that he had financial assistance from his family to start out. He was also involved in the wider world of Thames boat building, was a Queen's waterman and a Master of the Watermen's company. He built himself a substantial house on Lower Road, which eventually became a Vicarage for the parish of Christ Church.
|Thames Barges on the Thames Estuary|
Photograph by James Gray
There are a handful of the larger nineteenth century Thames barges left today, some seagoing, with wooden hulls, attractive low lines, reddish-brown sails on two masts, shallow flat-bottomed draughts (which allowed them to rest, beached, at low tide), lee boards, sprits and spritsails. Nineteenth century photographs of the Thames show large numbers of them, and one or two survive today.
Lighters were smaller barges, flat-bottomed and used exclusively for transferring cargo between ships moored in the Thames and the quaysides. Astonishingly, they were unpowered, relying on the tide for propulsion up and down river, and on large oars to direct the vessels.
|Charles Hay and Son,|
Stock brick with pitched slate roof with range of clerestory lights; gabled ends to north and south, that to street coped and with kneelers, that to river plain. 2 storeys, 3 bays. Street elevation has 3 tall segmental-arched openings with hatch (now adapted) over central works entrance. Brick string between floors. River elevation has altered ground floor and openings, small hoist hatch in gable. All windows have gauged brick segmental arches. INTERIOR: not inspected. Occupied by Charles Hay and Son, barge owners, builders and repairers, established 1789. A rare survival of its kind.
The top floor was a sail loft, and this has been converted into apartments.
|A very fuzzy photograph of the |
premises in 1937, with the
Charles Hay and Son Ltd. sign
on the Thames-facing side with
two barges beached outside.
|The riverside face of Charles Hay and Son|
today, taken from the Thames Clipper, hence
the rather wobbly focus!