The Thames Barge was the floating predecessor of the big lorry. Its origins start at the Dengie Flats Maldon and Heybridge and the River Blackwater .
This film appears to have been made just prior to the World War two . Their main role was linking the riverside premises of millers and corn merchants and delivering agricultural produce to similar installation on the River Thames. Thirty barges line up for the Gravesend annual Barge race to sail out to the Mouse light ship and back. . The entry of 30 could be a good clue to the year the film was made.
Among the names briefly glimpsed are Will Everard .The unknown cameraman was afloat as well with some shots of the barges rounding the Mouse with a salute from an as yet unidentified paddle steamer. Finishes with scenes of out of use barges deteriorating . Invaluable to anybody with more than a passing interest in Thames Barges 15mins silent Black and White