Restoration work set to start on historic Thames sailing barge, thanks to sponsor

Ash Faire Ring, left, is restoring Growler in Burnham Overy Staithe, with sponsorship from Jotun. He

Ash Faire Ring, left, is restoring Growler in Burnham Overy Staithe, with sponsorship from Jotun. He is pictured with Jim Brickwood, business development manager for UK yachting. Picture: supplied by Ash Faire Ring - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk teenager is celebrating after a sponsor was found to kick-start the restoration of an historic Thames sailing barge.

Ash Faire Ring, 17, is restoring Growler in his home village of Burnham Overy Staithe in north Norfolk.

He fell in love with the barge when he first saw it, and the owner gave it to him to restore.

The Gresham's School pupil finishes his A-levels on June 6 and said: "We will then be starting work on Growler. The exciting news is that we now have a sponsor who will pay for all our paint."

Jotun Yachting will provide all the coatings required to carefully bring the barge back to seaworthy condition.

A spokesman for The Jotun Group, which is a leading supplier of paints and powder coatings, said: "The opportunity to support two young sailors - Ash and Ben Danziger, 16 - in developing their technical skills and pushing personal boundaries through the restoration, fit well with the culture and ethos within Jotun.

"Growler was built in 1922 on Conyer Creek. She is a 34ft traditional Thames Barge and one of the last of her kind.

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"Following a working career, she had a brief leisure sailing life before being retired to a barn in Dedham, Suffolk.

"With great business acumen, Ash and Ben set up a marketing campaign to spread word of the restoration and crowd fund £2000 to pay for initial project costs. The vessel has been transported to a field in Burnham Overy Staithe, where the project will begin in earnest when Ash finishes his last A-Level in June."

The teenager added: "We are hugely excited to be working with Jotun on the restoration of Growler and look forward to using the full product range to return Growler to her original condition."

The restoration can be followed via the Project Growler YouTube Channel or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Pages. They have also created a website to share updates on progress. Jotun Yachting will also be closely following progress and publishing updates via social media.