The first picture is from the archives of the Society for Sailing Barge Research and shows the barge JOY at Saltcote Wharf, Heybridge. The photo is from 1956 and shows the barge after her conversion to a yacht. The wharf is now the home of Saltcote Sailing Club.
JOY was built at White's Yard at Teynham, Kent in 1914 and spent all of her working life with A M & H Rankin of Stambridge Mills, Rochford. In the early 1950s she was purchased by Geoffrey Woods the Colchester fan engineer who had her converted to a yacht. She was on Walter Cook and Son's barge yard at Maldon in March 1956 being 'Prepared for a North Sea Passage', and then moved to Saltcote Wharf to be finished.
The Sailing Barge Compendium published by the Society for Sailing Barge Research records that she sailed for France in 1957 and has a report of her in Cannes Bay that year. We do not know her fate.
Some years earlier, Alf Last at Cook's yard at Maldon had built a new barge's boat for the her. The name JOY LONDON was carved into the transom of the boat and she had a few years with the barge in trade. Eventually the skipper of the barge wanted to move on to something bigger, and he sold the boat JOY to Mersea. She became a hard working oyster boat until worn out, she was left by the top of the Causeway. She was noticed and then rescued by David Green of Mersea, a cabinet maker and skilled carpenter, who recognised her nice lines. He purchased and repaired her, and fitted her out as a Fisherman's Open Boat - or Winkle Brig.
The second picture shows David Green sailing the boat JOY in 1966. He had her for several years and then, wanting to buy a smack himself, passed her on - to begin a series of adventures which included being used in the film The Snow Goose, filmed off Heybridge Basin and in Walton Backwaters. She enjoyed the love and care of Janet and Charles Harker, and when Charles, who was an auctioneer, moved to Scotland with his job, JOY moved with him and she was moored in the Solway Firth. Then back to Mersea, Peldon and off to Cornwall, Brittany and the Norfolk Broads.
The boat JOY has now been back in West Mersea for several years and has had a complete rebuild. She is still sailing.
The JOY wrote a book about herself and her adventures, with a little help from Charles and Janet Harker. "Ode to Joy" is available in Mersea Museum shop or from the publishers, Jardine Press of Wivenhoe. It is a good read.
Published in Mersea Life, February 2019, local page 20.