SSBR has two acclaimed publications, “Topsail” and “Mainsheet”, which are issued free to members.


“Mainsheet” is our house magazine, published twice each year, in spring and autumn. It includes news about what’s happening today in the sailing barge world – restorations, changes of ownership or location, barge matches, news of present and former barge crews, and much more. But also has barge stories from the past, the memories of those who sailed in trade, and photographs many of which have not been seen before. The Editor is Charles Traill.


“Topsail” is published annually, usually in the autumn.   It has a well-deserved reputation in maritime circles for the depth of its research and its dedication to accuracy, whilst at the same time being an eminently readable publication.   Its contents are likely to include the memoirs of bargemen and women, the history of barge building companies, and book reviews, together with more of those rare old photographs. The Editor is Richard Walsh.


From time to time the Society publishes books about Thames sailing barges and barge crews, the most recent being “Goldsmith of Grays” in 2018, which told the story of the shipping company which at one time operated three times as many Thames sailing barges as the next biggest operators put together.  Copies of such books are made available to members at a discount or occasionally free. They are on general sale to the public from retail outlets and directly from the Society, see below.

Publications for Sale

The Society’s Archive holds a stock of back numbers of most issues of “Topsail” and “Mainsheet”.   They are priced at £5 each, which includes UK postage, and are available from the Archive Curator, see details below.   Binders are also on sale for both publications.

In addition we have new and second-hand barge books for sale, which again can be purchased from the Archive Curator.

For all the above, please contact Don Wright, Hon Curator & Archivist, at:-