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Displaying items by tag: Port of Barrow's 150th

#ports&shipping - It was a special day for the English north-west port of Barrow-in-Furness as the Cumbria town last Sunday was filled with a colourful parade to mark the 150th anniversary of the port, writes Jehan Ashmore. 

The Port of Barrow estabished in 1867 is currently part of the Associated British Ports (ABP). The port on the Irish Sea is also where the origins of shipowners, James Fisher Everard began operations two decades earlier in 1847.

They operate a tanker fleet among them Galway Fisher (see photo of ship's stern during Seafest in Galway). This Barrow registered tanker frequently calls to the mid-west port from Whitegate Oil Refinery in Cork Harbour.

Another more recent Irish connection with Barrow was where the Royal Navy P2000 Archer class inshore fast patrol boat HMS Express attended celebrations. The craft had paid a visit this week to Dublin along with a sister HMS Dasher.

Afloat will have more to report on HMS Dasher when in the presence of the brand new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Part of this giant newbuild was constructed by BAE Systems also located in Barrow. 

According to ABP the celebrations for the port involved the lifting of the Michaelson Road Bridge by Gavin Andrews and Sonja Foster. The fundraising heroes were rewarded for their community work after winning a local community competition for the bridge opening.

Mr Andrews, Deputy Operations Manager at Dong Energy, has raised more than £40,000 for the North West Air Ambulance charity (NWAA) after the death of his son Joe, while Mrs Foster has raised funds for the Brathay Trust by running 10 marathons in 10 days for three years in a row.

He said: It’s a great honour to be opening the official celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the port. I’m Barrow born and bred and following a tragic accident with my son four years ago have been fundraising for the NWAA ever since. The NWAA do a fantastic job, that is vital and saves many lives, and we were shocked to learn that they rely on charitable donations.

“Since then, we have held events, done sponsored walks, anything really to raise money to support their valuable work. I’d like to stress that the funds we’ve raised are thanks to generous friends and family, people of Barrow and support from DONG Energy and other local companies, who have all helped us along the way.”

As part of the celebrations, the ABP press release added that a special plaque was also unveiled to cement the occasion in Barrow’s history. Councillor Tony Callister, Mayor of Barrow, unveiled the special plaque, and spoke of his pride at the honour.

Councillor Tony Callister, Mayor of Barrow, said: "I'm very proud of this day. It's probably going to be one of the best in my year as mayor because it's celebrating 150 years of an elite company that helping develop the Barrow coastline. The port is very, very important to attract bigger, better businesses to the area.”

The parade marched across the bridge through the town to the town quay, where spectators were able to enjoy live music, bouncy castles and docked vessels. Among them was the aforementioned HMS Express. 

Carl Bevan, ABP Divisional Port Manager, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in making this parade a great success, and especially our customers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to play the vital role we do in supporting the local community.

“At Barrow, we are proud to have played a key role in the economic prosperity of the town for the past 150 years and are committed to supporting Barrow’s vibrant local community. Together with our sister Port of Silloth, ABP and its customers contribute around £100m to the region’s economy and support more than 5,000 jobs.”

Published in Ports & Shipping
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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