A rather good article on the Rochford District Community Archive about the importance of barges in past centuries – especially in our area:
…. Sailing barges on the rivers of the Rochford district were a vital link in the supply chain. The few roads which existed were often flooded. Carts were slow and each one only carried a small load. Sailing barges were ideal bulk carriers and, indeed, their use continued on the East Coast longer than anywhere else in north-western Europe. Every riverside farm or mill here had its quay, jetty or hard. The remnants can still be seen at Lion Wharf, Wallasey, Paglesham, Hullbridge, Rawreth and many other places along the riversides. (Several are shown on Ordnance Survey map number 176.) The river trade is also commemorated in the names of public houses: Plough and Sail, Anchor and Barge….