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HistoricaLeigh; Eva Annie
Just clear of the end of the marsh, at low tide, you can see the bottom boards and stem or stern post of a sailing barge. This is all that remains of the 'Eva Annie' crushed in the London Docks and hulked in that position in 1940.
During the war she was gradually demolished and her timbers used as firewood. She was the last sailing barge to be steered by tiller and her tiller was preserved in a museum at Gravesend.
Between the wars 'Eva Annie' had a skipper who was a humorist among bargemen.; it was he who had a cure for bed bugs. He sprinkled pepper on them, claiming that this would make them sneeze and break their backs. He also invented the first wheelhouse for a barge. This consisted of a large cabby's umbrella lashed to the tiller with the claim that ‘wherever I move the tiller goes with me."