Part 2 - Concrete Barges
Other Concrete Barges and their History
Concrete Barges can be found all over (except sadly no longer on Canvey). We have found one in Barling Essex, two to the west of Westminster Bridge, a whole platoon off of Rainham marshes plus many sightings in Portsmouth, Portland, the River Seven and even America! For more info look in the "FCB's" section of this site.
Central London - A regular haunt for FCB's
From "Abandoned relics of war":
"During the Second World War, steel was in short supply. Governments in the UK and the US ordered the construction of barges made of reinforced concrete. The barges now abandoned on the Thames mud at Rainham were towed across the channel as part of the immense project to create artificial harbours for the Normandy landings on D-Day. They formed part of one of the Mulberry harbours. Then in 1953 they came to the rescue a second time when they were used to shore up the flood defences of the estuary which were damaged by a huge storm and surge tide. Towns along the river estuary were inundated and devastated by the worst Thames floods in living memory."
Barge Larks - Sgt McCartney
Dibden Bay Historical Facts:
Here an archaeological survey of Dibden Bay in relation to a planned new container port near Southampton. Under the appropriate heading "Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Maritime Heritage" (and not "Eyesores Someone Might Fall Off so we'd Better Destroy") it lists:
"20.41 There are numerous
components of the Mulberry Harbour built at Marchwood Military Port in the area,
including many beetle pontoons, some of which survive as sea defences (1415-1449),
a mooring shuttle in the intertidal area (1465), pontoon like structures (1404-5,
1407-8) and barges (1410, 1412). Air photographs from World War Two show a number
of components moored in Dibden Bay."
Click on the link (if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader) for more info: www.dibdenterminal.co.uk
First Hardback edition - Now Deleted
Having read WD 'Jim' Jarman's rare book "Those Wallowing Beauties - The Story of World War Barges in World War II" for information and although it is very detailed about Landing Barges there was no direct mention of FCB's, only the Mulberry Harbour.
Click on the picture below for "History Part 3 - D-Day Concrete Barges":-
D-Day FCB's? - Click for Info