Tom Browning (Apprentice Part 3)

Tom Browning

Tom Browning, Shipwright Apprentice, photographer unknown.

As the barge comes to the end of her stay in St Kat’s and tonight, locks out bound back to Gillingham Pier and her duties as charter-vessel for the Rotary Club sponsored Respite for Young Carers, a nice email has come my way from Faversham Creek Trust. Faversham Creek Trust, you will know, are setting up a new Apprentice Training Workshop in the former (gas) Purifyer Building on Faversham Creek, in the back of the Morrison’s Carpark.

Their website at has news that “Sailing Barge Centaur, owned and managed by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust will benefit from a £100,000 Lottery Heritage Funded refit in Tim Goldsack’s dry dock at Oare Creek. She will be worked on over the next few months by a team of local craftsmen which includes the Faversham Creek Trust’s first apprentice, Tom Browning.

Tom, achieved his level 2 apprenticeship with Simon Grillet, during the Cambria restoration at Standard Quay, in 2011. He will commence his level three training through work experience on the Centaur, combined with technical training at the Purifier Building.

The Trust are delighted to support the Thames Barge Sailing Trust in their restoration and outreach programmes, that do so much to keep alive our local maritime traditions, and this is exactly the type of job that we want apprentices to be involved with”.

Nice one, FCT and it is brilliant to know that ‘our’ Tom is carrying on with you guys and on the barges. One of my favourite pics of the Cambria restoration is the one which has been used in brochures etc, of Tim Goldsack and Tom sighting down the port wale of the part-built Cambria – it just says it all to me about the training up of young lads, keeping these old traditional skills alive down the generations as well as the amount of ship-wright-ery which is ‘by eye’. Unfortunately I cannot now find a copy of that pic (which was not one of mine, I should add) so this rather poor one of Tom will have to suffice. Simon Grillet, I know, at the time was hard at work on the Morayshire, and I would love to know whether that panned out OK.


All the best Tom, Tim, Simon and the Faversham Creek Trust.


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