George Faint, sailing barges and the racing yawl THALASSA
100 years young 2006
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)


Thalassa at the Festival of the Sea, Portsmoth 2001.
In 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 :
St. Malo/Dinard
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 (his favourite).
More details on:
Yawl Thalassa
Thalassa race results from R.O.R.C.
Thalassa race log, Fastnet 1939
George Faint testimonial from A.B. Baker
George Faint seaman application 1940

Thalassa Photo Gallery 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Pages © David Renouf, email: bargemaster@thamesbarge.org.uk