Spring Tide Freight – Behind the Painting
“It’s a favourite of mine. I suppose there’s a certain amount of nostalgia in it……” said John Chancellor of this work, having lived on and sailed a Thames sailing barge for eleven years.
The picture shows a barge picking her way up a very shallow, narrow creek, to a typical rural loading site. To many it is a surprise to learn that some of the places where barges had to go were so deep in the heart of the country that there was very little water in the creeks except on the big Spring tides, and therefore could only go to these loading sites on such occasions. Hence the title of the painting.
This scene shows two barges working their way up a typical creek. There is a little jetty where local boats and punts would go. The barges are coming up in a very gentle south westerly breeze and if you look very closely, you will see the mate standing with a huge setting boom helping the barge along, manoeuvring through the narrow channel.
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