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Crowds gather in glorious sunshine to watch annual barge race

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Crowds have gathered to watch the 54th annual barge match at Southend Pier.

The Thames barges were once used in Southend to transport people from Essex to London rather than using horses.

Organisers say the race is slower than usual as there's little wind this morning

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Sailing barges were an important part of the early days of Southend-on-Sea, being able to transport goods swiftly across long distances.

It is always a delight to see them return for the Annual Barge Match and to see the Estuary so full of activity and character.

– Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy