Victor registered London 82 tons, 82.2 x 20.3 x 6, was built by Horace Shrubsall at the Dock End Yard, Ipswich for Owen Parry. Until the Second World War she collected linseed from farms around the East Coast and took it to Owen Parry's Mill in Colchester returning to London with the oil in barrels. It is thought that this cargo may have in large part contributed to her excellent condition.
Felix Mallett, one of the most renowned skippers of his generation with distinguished service in both world wars, left Greta, owned by London & Rochester Shipping Co, to skipper Victor.
Owen Parry was bought by London & Rochester Shipping Co when Victor was valued at £450.
During the War Victor loaded munitions out of Chatham dock, including torpedoes and shells for transfer to cruisers, corvettes and destroyers under cover of darkness, and is lucky to have survived a bomb that directly hit and completely destroyed a lighter lying alongside.
Victor was the last sailing barge to be decommissioned. Victor was towed to Brightlingsea along with Chieftain and was lucky again. The tow was too fast and Chieftain was towed under and lost.
Victor was converted to a motor barge and traded for the London & Rochester Company on the Medway until sold in 1964, again for £450.
During the next 10 years Victor passed through the care of three owners. She had a short career as a strip club before being taken to Ramsgate for Henry Winger. Luck was on her side again when she was abandoned in difficulties in The Channel. The Ramsgate lifeboat picked up the crew from the barge boat and towed Victor to Ramsgate where she lay for four years unused. John Bloom acquired her and took her to the Medway as a houseboat.
Victor was purchased by Owen Emerson, a navy trained shipwright, who rebuilt and re-rigged her.
Nick Briggs bought Victor and operated as a 40 passenger charter barge and floating office for Nick's consultancy business, located primarily on the South coast at Beaulieu and at Tower Bridge London.
Victor was bought by Steve Godwin and Tony Chancellor who brought her back to the East coast and she is now based at Horlocks old yard at Mistley where David and Wendy Foster of Mistley Marine provide a fine berth and facilities. She underwent a major refit 2005/2006 at both Maldon and Mistley, including new mast, sprit, running and standing rigging, new electric, water and heating systems, water and fuel tanks, refurbished decks, saloon, cabins, galley and heads. Victor is now in 1st class condition and working again in the charter and events business with a MCGA Passenger Certificate for 40 persons, a testament to her fine condition. David 'Wes' Westwood of Ipswich is now the Skipper and managing operations.
NB Any additional information, anecdotes, stories, photos etc regarding Victor or her previous Masters and crews or participation in Barge Matches would be gratefully received and credited.