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The Barge (Layfield Rd, Gillingham) will cease trading on Thursday 17th March 2016. Increasing financial pressures have lead to this unfortunate situation, pressures which have now become insurmountable. The building is to be reposessed by the Official Receiver's bailiffs, acting on behalf of HMRC, on Friday 18th March.

It is with great sadness that we have to make this announcement, especially as it seemed like we'd turned a corner over the last year or so and were looking forward to a bright future. However, this was not to be. Despite an upturn in business and it looking like things might just work out, a legacy of debt which was taken on by Nat and Charlotte has proved to be impossible to deal with and so here we are. THE MAN wins again.

However, all is not lost... Nat and Charlotte have taken on the lease for The Ship Inn, Court Lodge Road (the other pub down the end of the road). We will be moving our operations into The Ship with immediate effect following the planned gigs at the Barge on Friday 11th March (Porch Swing Blues) and Saturday 12th March (Wax Collector), not forgetting the last Barge Quiz night on Sunday 13th March.

The PA system from the Barge will be installed at The Ship - we are intending to carry on as before, just with the Barge becoming a Ship. Unfortunately we will need to cancel a few events while the transfer and new install takes place. I'm hoping we will have a working PA in place for the following weekend's gigs (Fri 18th/Andy Twyman, and Sat 19th/Dredgermen), and this is presuming that these artists will want to come with us to our new home. I will be contacting everybody who has gigs booked at the Barge in the next day or so to explain the situation and to confirm whether or not they wish to move down the road with us.

The events we will definitely need to cancel will be Weds 16th March - Inspirational Night, and Thurs 17th March - Tribute to Pete 'Poppit' Gunthorpe (the last being very close to my heart, but there's nothing can be done about it).

We'll be keeping the Barge Facebook page going for the immediate future in order to keep people informed of what's going on, as well as the website. There will be a new website for the Ship ( which will gradually take over from the Barge site, and a new Facebook page will become apparent as soon as possible. Please check back to the Barge facebook page and/or website for further details.. they can't take them away from us just yet.

All of us here at The Barge would like to say a very, very massive THANK YOU to everybody who's supported us over the years and helped the Barge become what it has - one of Medway's best places for a nice night out with some of the best live music around - and we hope that you will continue to support us in our new ventures at The Ship... with your help we can continue to provide a much needed live music service.

Thank you, and may whichever God/Jah/Buddah/Allah/Earth-mother/Deity bless you. Hoping to see you all soon at The Ship, Court Lodge Road, Gillingham, Kent.