Built by W.B. Mclearon, at the Naval Yard in Harwich

Built by W. B. McLearon, who from 1905-1906 was Mayor of Harwich, at the naval yard in Harwich. The sailing barges that came from McLearon’s yard were considered to be the finest that could be found anywhere on the coast, as collectively they survived in better condition than those from any of the other builders of the time. Mclearon was also a builder of wooden lightships for Trinity House, and this is further proof of the exceptionally high quality of his work and materials.

Thalatta was built as a speculation along with her sister barge Ena. As Thalatta took shape she aroused local interest – onlookers commented on her fine head belonging more to a fishing smack than a barge. Her cargo carrying capacity was less than other barges of a similar size being built elsewhere on the coast, the Hydrogen or the Cambria, nor was she designed primarily for speed like the Ethel May, also under construction at that time by Mr Cann on the other Harwich barge yard. But her hull looked likely to be particularly capable and comfortable at sea. She was built narrow on the bottom, with long runs after to a neat sternframe. A Mistley bargeman remarked admiringly as he looked down on her decks from aloft years later, ‘she sits on the water like a little old seagull, this one’.

Thalatta was launched in a ceremony on 6 February 1906 by Coralie Clare Horlock, daughter of the new owner, Frederick W. Horlock of Mistley. She broke a bottle over the bows of the new barge which then slid gracefully into the water.