sailing barges and the racing yawl THALASSA
100 years young
George Faint (b 1984) was born on the farm, on Horsey
Island in the Walton Backwaters (Arthur Ransom's Secret Water),
where his father worked on the farm. He later moved to Beaumont
Quay when his father took charge of the coal and corn warehouse
which used to stand there. and where we believe it would have been
that he saw, and became mate of one of the Thames sailing barges
that traded there to remove grain and hay to London.
From a tape
recording of him, on a radio programme, he told us that the first
sailing barge he worked on was the locally owned Gleaner,
which worked regularly to Beaumont Cut. later, he transferred to
the barge Valentine, owned by Green at Brantham. Some of
Smeed Dean's barges also worked to Beaumont Quay and Jimmy Toms,
skipper of the Mercy, persuaded George that he had a better
future with the Kent firm and he took George on as mate of the Mercy.
George lodged with his skipper when ashore, and later married Jimmy's
second daughter Mabel.
After serving in the First World War, George returned to Sittingbourne
and became skipper of local barges Fanny, Bessier
(1923-1929, Smeed Dean), Herbert Gordon (1929-1933, George
Andrews, Sittingbourne), Castanet and Bankside (auxilaries
of Francis & Gilders)
at the Festival of the Sea, Portsmoth 2001.
1939, he went as the racing skipper on the R.O.R.C. racing
yawl THALASSA owned by A.B. Baker director of the East
Anglia Flour Mills. He took part in a variety of races during
the year including :
Fastnet (2nd in class)
and won the 1939 Aralus Plate " A" Division Presented
by Mr .E. Gore Lloyd, to be held by the yacht in the "A" Division
which secures the greatest number of points in the season.
The arrangement with Thalassa was terminated at the
outbreak of war when George went back to sailing barges as
Master of S.B. Cetus (Nov 1939 - Aug 1940) before working
for the war Department on Dispatch from Sheerness on M.V.
Nayland (1940 - 1942). After
the War, George took charge of many craft including Gravelines
I, Scotsman, Dannebrog and Olive May
race results from R.O.R.C.
Thalassa race log, Fastnet 1939
George Faint testimonial
from A.B. Baker
George Faint seaman
Photo Gallery 1