The first cargo of fine ale to be put ashore at Brightlingsea Hard in living memory

The heatwave at the end of May appears to have triggered a round of spontaneous reenactments along the Essex Coast, as a week’s supply of Farmer’s Ale was delivered to a pub in Brightlingsea by boat and by horse-drawn dray.

However, Farmer’s Ale director, Nigel Farmer, swears that deliving beer from Maldon to Brightlingsea (15 miles as the crow flies) could be quicker by water than by road and the pub in question has requested more beer but has refused to take delivery by road for environmental reasons.

So, as publicity manager Jim Titmarsh admits, what started out as a stunt might end up becoming a regular delivery.

Stevedores loaded two 9gal furkins (weighing 60kg each) of Farmer’s award winning ale, Pucks Folly, on to the sailing yacht, Kyla at Priors Yacht Yard, Burnham on Crouch, nine miles south-east of the brewery.

Photo of Kyla’s skipper Jim Titmarsh on arrival in Brightlingsea after six hours at sea

The casks took a course East via the Swin to the Historic Port of Brightlingsea.

The delivery, bound for the respected real ale pub, The Railway Tavern, Brightlingsea, was then taken up in to the safe hands of Ray and Tessa from the Brightlingsea Water Taxi, together with Bruce Carl and his horse, Talulah, pulling the dray.

‘The Harbour Masters insisted on being invoiced,’ Nigel explained. ‘As long as we all used “old money”‘

Bernie Hethrington, Brightlingsea Harbour Master, levied a landing fee, of five florins, whereas Mark Wakelin, Harbour Master of The Crouch Harbour Authority, sought One Guinea for loading.

This will not be added to the price of a pint at the Railway Tavern as Ray & Tessa The Brightlingsea Water Taxi Service covered the charges.

The celebrations remain a fuzzy memory, but it may have looked something like this video below…