As part of Salford Makers, I was commissioned to deliver a programme of creative engagement for the restoration project of the Thames sailing barge, Raybel Charters.
Connecting the local and wider community to the restoration of this beautiful vessel and its rich heritage, we delivered a programme of artist mentoring and creative public workshops which has resulted in the founding of ‘Raybel Makers’ by local artists and the co creation of new collaborative work including re-imagined sails which are now part of the developing onsite museum and gallery.
More about the project…
“During the three decades that followed her launch in 1920, Sailing Barge Raybel delivered many thousands of tons of cargo under sail. Then the world changed, and diesel power became most favoured. But now, as we see the enormous damage being done to our environment by the burning of fossil fuels, values must shift again. And there are lessons to be learned from the past.” Alongside the restoration work, we are running a three-year programme of cultural and heritage events. Nor are we forgetting the skills needed to keep the heritage of Thames sailing barges alive – with training in traditional boat building and maintenance part of our plans. This will be just the start of our community-based work: once restored Raybel will become a valuable asset for education, training and events – bringing together communities the length of the Thames Estuary, with each other, and with their shared river heritage.”
‘Raybel Charters is a maritime heritage social enterprise – part business, part campaign, part arts project – born from a desire to inspire and create change towards a climate conscious and socially just system of trade. Our work is based around the themes of water, trade, transport, nature, heritage and people. We aim to work collaboratively, inclusively and creatively, on a global and a local scale. Our home is the Thames estuary, from central London to the coast of Kent – but from here we extend out, from estuary to ocean, from creek to canal.
Visit Raybel Charters to find out more about this brilliant project and all of the fantastic people making it happen.