A LONG serving Thames Sailing Barge Trust volunteer has won a prestigious national award for his work.

Maldon resident Tim Jepson has been a member and volunteer of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust since 1975.

For many years he has managed the maintenance and repairs to the historic sailing barge Centaur - which was built in 1895 and is on the National Historic Ships and Fleet Registers.

Tim spends hours looking after Centaur - based in Hythe Quay in Maldon - throughout the year and has continued to look after the ship even during the pandemic.

The hard work of the dedicated volunteer has now been announced as the winner of the National Historic Ships UK Marsh Volunteer of the Year.

An award ceremony was held virtually for the second year running on Tuesday, November 23, and was presented from Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The Marsh Volunteer Awards - which have run since 2011 - celebrate an individual volunteer and group of volunteers who have contributed towards looking after the country's maritime heritage.

Tim was presented with a certificate and cash prize of £500.

Prizes are supported by the Marsh Christian Trust and can be spent as the winners choose.

The trustees of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust said they were very pleased Tim’s "exceptional" contribution to Centaur has been recognised with this prestigious award.

They thanked Tim for his huge support over many years as they say Centaur was a credit to his hard work and dedication.

Tim said it had been "great fun" working on Centaur over the years and thanked National Historic Ships UK and the Marsh Christian Trust for the award.

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust was formed in 1948 and has been associated with Maldon since 1983. It is run solely by volunteers and has no paid staff.

Centaur is sailed throughout the summer taking up to 12 passengers on a programme of sailing trips and charters.