Heybridge Basin drained - the barge UNITY to the left of the lock. The remains of the UNITY are in Sampsons Creek and her wheel was rescued by John Milgate and has been used in Mersea Museum displays. 

UNITY Official No. 86627, built Ipswich 1885.

Postcard 11344.



In July 2014 Ron used this postcard in an article in Maldon and Heybridge Life:




Old Days at Heybridge ...
Cat1 Barges-->Pictures Cat2 Places-->Heybridge

Heybridge Basin drained - the barge UNITY to the left of the lock. The remains of the UNITY are in Sampsons Creek and her wheel was rescued by John Milgate and has been used in Mersea Museum displays.
UNITY Official No. 86627, built Ipswich 1885.
Postcard 11344.

In July 2014 Ron used this postcard in an article in Maldon and Heybridge Life:

Old Days at Heybridge Basin

For this month I have an unusual scene of the Basin minus water. The basin appears to have been drained to allow repairs or maintenance to be carried out on the lock gates and workmen can be seen carrying out this work in the distance. Yachts lying on the dried out bottom of the canal lie at odd angles but the barges sit more comfortably. The large freshly tarred barge in the centre of the the picture is UNITY, a former ketch rigged sailing barge which has been unrigged to serve as a timber lighter.
Shortly after the Second World war she was sold to West Mersea shipwright William Wyatt for £25. It is doubtful if she was ever used for the intended purpose and she was dumped at the end of Sampsons Creek, Wigborough, where her remains lie to this day. Her wheel, which can be seen still in place, was later salvaged by shipwright John Milgate with the permission of William Wyatt. When he brought it ashore, he was met by Guy Harding who fancied making it into a gate so a deal was done involving a bicycle and some cash. Guy took it to his Wivenhoe boatyard but never got around to making the gate.

After he died the dust covered wheel was found at the back of the building and was recovered by his son-in-law Martin Wade who has lovingly restored it.
It has been used as part of an exhibition at Mersea Island Museum and as a frontispiece for a television programme about traditional boats.


Photo: Ron Green Collection
Image ID RG06_131
Category 2 Places-->Heybridge

This image is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection.