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The Edith May spent most of her life carrying wheat and grain products from East Anglia to London. She was built in 1906 by J & H Cann of Harwich,
and remained in trade until 1961.
In the 60s and 70s she had an illustrious career as a racing barge. Then in the mid 80s she was fitted out for charter work, but essential maintenance work was neglected
and she fell into a sad state of disrepair.
She was bought by her current owners, the Gransden family, in 1999 who spent the next ten years restoring her to her current resplendent condition,
using mainly reclaimed materials and timber.
She is available for group charter in the summer, and is open as a tea room between October and April.
See the official web site detailed below, for more information.
Look out for the Whitstable Oyster Yawl Thistle F86, an earlier Gransden family restoration project,
which is usually moored in Faversham Creek.
External Links and References
Thames Barge Edith May
The official site with information on sailings as well as the history of the barge, etc. http://www.edithmaybargecharter.co.uk/
The East Window dates from 1920 and is based on a painting by Pio Ximenes
know as Abide With Me, commissioned by card publishers Messrs Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. A later version of this painting is currently in Shipley Art Gallery.
In 1917 the nephew of the wife of the then vicar of St Margaretʼs,
Brig-General Roland Boys Bradford VC MC
asked Tucks to produce what was at first going the be a Christmas card, but later became a souvenir picture for his men after he was appointed Brigadier General.
It was to be based on the hymn 'Abide With Me' which his battalion were in the habit of singing at dusk and before going into battle.
Bradford was killed in action 30 November 1917 aged 25, and the cards were never produced.
He was one of the four heroic Bradford brothers of Whitton Park,
two of whom were awarded the Victoria Cross, Britainʼs highest medal for gallantry.