While at Beverley Music festival, I managed to get a few moments of peace from stewarding, to have a look around, in one of the venues was a stand with information on The Beverley Barge Society,
They are curently have a number of restoration projects they are working on, the main one that is almost complete is the “Sheffield” Sized Barge Syntan (named after one of the products used in Tanning).
Syntan was built in 1949 for Richard Hodgson Tanners who were based in Beverley, Saytan is one of a fleet of 16 barges who were based on Beverley Beck.
The fleet was used to carry coal and hides into the Tannery and transhipped vegetable raw materials used for tanning, these raw materials came from as far as India, South Africa, and Paraguay. Syntan aslo carried general cargos, such as grain, flower, paper and nuts to south and West Yorkshire.
Syntan is a “Sheffield” sized barge, at 61’6″ x 15’6″ with a cargo capacity of up to 110 tons.
In the 1970s the Hodgson Fleet was sold and Syntan was bought by Victor Waddington of Swinton to carry steel; however this venture did not last for long; and she was left for almost 20 years at Doncaster Powerstation, where she was cannibalised for parts, and vandalised.
In 2001 the Beverley Barge Preservation Society purchased the remains, and started on its renovation, When Syntan was purchased the paintwork was faded and peeling, the wheel house and all external fittings had been removed, less the winch; and the hold was full of rain water.
The Beverley Barge Preservation Society have restored Syntan to a state very close to its original configuration, with a few alterations where required. the hold is now a exhibit space; with a steal top, she has been re-painted in her original Hodgson colours, and the wheel house has been fitted.