Gaillac Port Further Reading

The port Gaillac as described and painted here is an intriguing story, enjoy, profit !

Port of Gaillac 1863

“The Port of Gaillac 1863”  200 x 100 cm (60″ x 39″), by Gordon Frickers

Sold, this painting made my reputation in the Gaillac area, I was even stopped in the streets and congratulated.

One delightful comment was, “all the big ports have their famous paintings, now Gaillac has it’s painting too’.

> commission or buy from this site, invest now order easily, safely, £ bank to bank or by credit card Purchase Now via Paypal in any currency or in instalments by arrangement contact us.

Historical inaccuracy abounds; with my paintings as one of my followers put it, “you get an intimate front row seat to history” and is in most instances, as near truth and as near ‘documentary’, as meticulous, diligent research and real artistry can get.

The Port of Gaillac 1863 was produced on time in budget as a commission to be a foyer centre piece for the Museum inVINcible VIGNEron‘ at Tres Cantons, Montels, near Gaillac and as such has proven one of the most memorable impressions taken by visitors to the museum.

Many distinguished people and renowned companies chose Frickers paintings as you can discover by reading my illustrated résumée.

“The painting is even more beautiful in person than online. I love the texture and the use of light“. “The painting arrived well wrapped and no worse for wear related to the journey”.

John J. Hogerty II Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Bergstrom Corporation of his newly acquired painting, 12.12.2022, quoted for you with his kind permission.

Gaillac’s success

The principal reason for Gaillac’s success and prosperity was the port, that is until the commencement of steam railway in 1864.

You can buy or commission a painting of similar quality by talking with Gordon Frickers

Payment can be > bank to bank or with your credit card Purchase Now  < via Paypal, in any currency ; or in instalments by arrangement, contact Gordon Frickers.


Gaillac, an up river port, a major painting, a major effort, this valuable page contains much information not readily available elsewhere.

The text grew spontaneously with the painting thus first you have the story of the painting, then much about the details and why they are included, profit, enjoy.

Appraisals :

Bertrand de Vivies conservateur en chef des musées de Gaillac said to me, “many ports have their famous ‘quay’ paintings, Bordeaux, Toulon, Marseilles, Brest. Now at last, Gaillac has its ‘quay’ painting“.

“more than a match for anything in the Musée d’Orsay” said Alain Soreano of Gaillac, author and historian.

The Port of Gaillac 1863 is a painting that hangs comfortably with the finest collections.

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When people say ‘Gaillac?’ we often think first of Gaillac wines, Gaillac being one of the oldest wine-growing regions of Gaul hence France.

A.D. 1311, from the port of Gaillac in just one transit alone 41,739 barrels of wine were recorded.

Coat of arms, Gaillac
Coat of arms, Gaillac

Quays of Gaillac & “vins de coq”.

In addition, the region has always produced a surplus of many other agricultural products including herbs and perfumes, pastel dyes, wheat, sunflower seeds, timber and charcoal for gunpowder.

There is though, much more when we unlock with ‘the quays of Gaillac‘, the story of Gaillac.

Port of Gaillac 1
Port of Gaillac 1863






Port of Gaillac 1863
Port of Gaillac 1863 (detail)


The painting

Fine Detail

The Quays of Gaillac:

In the Beginning

Ancient days

More detail


Further research

Credit were credit is due

Principal sources

You could be enjoying a painting like this

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The Port of Gaillac 1863 Painting

I chose to paint the port in part because living in the district I’ve grown to love Gaillac and enjoy being with the people.

Add to that, I inherited an interest in wines and food from my Father  so am naturally curious about  Gaillac wine which I soon discovered is still marketed, branded, today as in ancient times as “vins du coq”.

Vin du Coq
Vin du Coq

Formally, Gaillac barrels, a French invention, and the old town had a whole quarter devoted to coppers and their craft, were literally branded with a coq, the symbol being part of the heraldry on the Gaillac coat of arms also widely regarded as a French National symbol hence the double innuendo of ‘vin du coq’.

This was to distinguish the highly rated wines of Gaillac from inferior products produced down stream and to stop Bordeaux merchants selling Gaillac as a Bordeaux.

While painting “The Port of Gaillac 1863and subsequently Gordon has been asked many times to show how this was achieved.

Unusually, this 2m x 1m picture was painted at the museum in the foyer it was intended to grace.

An added attraction at the museum, the picture was for many months a ‘happening’; the painting continues to generate interest and publicity for the museum and Gaillac in general.

This project started in earnest one sunny summer morning in 2012 with a drawing and photographs made around Quai St Jaques.

Sketch, Quai St Jaques
Sketch, Quai St Jaques

Thoughts on two separate courses converged to inspire this painting.

The first began simply, Gordon Frickers was looking around Gaillac for subjects that would be interesting, popular, representative of the less well known aspects of charming Gaillac.

Being a sea man he became interested in the quaint Quai St Jaques area of Gaillac, often called the port.

In French ‘port’ also means gateway or door…

Gaillac, an idea germinates

Not long after Gordon was in part inspired by Dr. Fiona Ferbrache a transport and immigration specialist, Oxford University.

Dr. Ferbrache was writing a piece about the Gordon Frickers painting “Emigration, Plymouth Cattewater” for Geography Directions, site for the Royal Geographic Society, (published 11 Sept 2012).

In part as a result of conversatiuons with Dr Ferbrache the artist found himself at a meeting in front of the Abbeye St Michel, Gaillac with Bertrand de Vivies, Conservateur du Patrimone and Frank Baldock, Canadian journalist, wine and commerce specialist (see winexpress).

Bertrand de Vivies & Frank Baldock
Bertrand de Vivies & Frank Baldock

It became clear that to properly research this subject was to create a dragon that could only be tamed when would have to be fed with large amounts of time and travel.

Mill, plage and quai d'embarkation from the Abbaye
Mill, plage and quai d’embarkation from the Abbaye

Eventually we were to established beyond doubt including with the aid of maps the ‘new’ quay and Quai St Jaques were very actively employed during the first half of the 19 th century.

In addition there were almost certainly other quay, probably 3 more, used at various times during the very long history of this port.

How we did that and what we discovered is part of this 1000 word story.

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I have become a specialist previously created similar scenes, for example ‘The Port of Chester 1863 painted to show that port at its busiest and to inspire sensitive re development and “Emigration, Plymouth Cattewater“.

My Chester painting was given the honour of a civic reception (400 guests) unveiled by the mayor of Chester and signed numbered copies proved very popular, a hundred prints selling at the preview.

You can read about the Chester reception event and what makes “The Port of Chester 1863” so special on www.frickers/Port of Chester

Pure Research

It was soon apparent the charming but under funded Gaillac Museum would also like to have more answers and that is one of the reasons for writing this piece.

Thus this article is written in part to support and encourage the staff of the Museum of Gaillac at the Abbeye Saint Michel.

Bertrand de VIVIES, Conservateur, Mairie de Gaillac, at our initial meeting was mined for information.

Bertrand generously proved himself very helpful, giving a whole afternoon to walk the land together with Frank Baldock and Gordon Frickers on the Gaillac side of the river.

We discussed in detail many of the aspects of the old port history.

The old port and the old quarters of Gaillac are missed by tourists, a pity because they are a hidden gem of la belle France, they remain pretty much as they were during the 19 th century
Frank specialises in trade and wines, he acted as translator.

Gaillac, ancient quarter, typical side street
Gaillac, ancient quarter, typical side street

Frank Baldock also ably assisted with reading the land and our trying to visualise what was where; and when as we searched the quay area and researched the wine trade from Gaillac.

A lively discussion developed between the three men.

Jacob's Ladder...?
Jacob’s Ladder…?

Bertrand de Vivies confirmed Gaillac offers little consolidated information.

Some what surprise of Gordon he said neither the museum nor town archives have old photos or maps of the location and knows of none, not even military maps.

Bertrand de VIVIES said he thought there is much in private collections, a little in the Mairie and more in the archives of Albi and Toulouse.

Bertrand de Vivies recommended the book Gaillac et les Gaillcois, author Alain Soriano and a other leads.

Frank very kindly bought Gordon a copy as a reminder of their day together. The book proved very useful, some one stole else agreed, it went missing, stolen along with several copies of old maps while Gordon was creating the painting at the wine museum.

We three had a wide ranging discussion and walked the land both sides of the Abbey;

Overall and not unexpectedly the meeting took us a step nearer answers by raising more and better questions, the results were helpful but inconclusive. 

Many leads pointed to author M. Alain Soriano, an authority on this subject who unfortunately was invariably unavailable.

Charles Octave Le Comte de Noblet d’Anglure generously gave Gordon Frickers and Frank Baldock a comprehensive tour of the opposite bank, land and properties owned by his family for generations and incidental but fascinating, a guided tour of his family mansion.

Charles, although a very busy person is very pro Gaillac, a great source of information, he answered many questions.

Charles has followed the project and ably assisted from time to time.

At this point in time the hours with Charles contributed immensely to the final decision to make this painting and to were the view point could best be sited.

Just as well, subsequent appeals to the local newspapers, the principal being La Depeche, to radio and TV did not even get the courtesy of a reply.

The challenge was not getting easier…

It was clear this idea had to go into the ‘impossible’ file.

Difficult we do straight away, impossible takes a bit longer…

The project was shelved but not forgotten.

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Gaillac, the port, the stage is set.

A year later while working on restoring a ‘woodie’ Wayfarer sailing dinghy Gordon Frickers found himself mentioning the idea to Theo Elzinga.

M. Elzinga was in the process of building a very remarkable museum.

Musee Invincilbe Vingeron
Musee Invincilbe Vingeron

Invincible Vigneron occupies some 1200 sq m and shows how winegrowers developed tools, skills and overcame many challenges to create the fine wines of France today.

Musee Invincilbe Vingeron court yard
Musee Invincilbe Vingeron court yard

Theo Elzinga loved the idea of the painting for his museum foyer reasoning the painting would nicely link his wine museum “InVINcible ViIGNEron” with Gaillac and the wine trade to the wider world via Bordeaux.

Musee Invincilbe Vingeron typical interior
Musee Invincilbe Vingeron typical interior

The museum has been said to be the best of it’s sort in France.

M. T Elzinga at work
M. T Elzinga at work
assistant Christelle Brangeon at work
assistant Christelle Brangeon at work

For different reasons we  both liked the idea of the port of Gaillac when the river traffic was at its height.

Theo Elzinga with the artist visits the port
Theo Elzinga with the artist visits the port

A brief with a very tight budget and specific time frame was agreed.

M. Elzinga being most insistent that the painting be completed on schedule in budget as per the order {it was].

laying out 12.03.14
laying out 12.03.14

Work started in earnest on The Port of Gaillac 1863with the ordering of a first class linen canvas and stretcher from London, to be assembled and primed on the location.

All materials Gordon Frickers uses including when he makes prints are of the highest quality, intended to endure as part of our legacy.

Theo Elzinga, Canvas, Christelle Brangeon
Theo Elzinga, Canvas, Christelle Brangeon

Next on the primed ochre washed canvas the drawing was marked out in charcoal.

Given the restrictive time frame to research and produce more finished drawings, the design was laid in part by projection, partly by eye, the design adjusted as the art progressed.

Marking out
Marking out

Projected images don’t tell the full story, one has to be cautious, aware they distort drawings and besides and in this instance a third of the image to be was still a feeling incubating in the artist’s imagination.

Working out
Working out

While the artist had by this stage a very clear vision of what he wanted, the work was going to have to emerge because of the budget and time frame in part composing it’s self as more research was completed.

A touch of magic was going to be needed in the shape of carefully chosen blank spaces to leave the design sufficiently flexible to allow for breaking the normal rules.

The design was then set with selected ochres.


After the ochre had set under painting commenced.


The colours applied at this stage were never intended to be final, rather they would contribute to the eventual planned texture, depth, richness and perspective.

Charles de Noblet reviewing progress
Charles de Noblet reviewing progress

The picture began to draw many an amusing comments from visitors (and Theo Elzinga) startled by the colours, who did not understand the process but, hey, that is part of the fun and for others, the fascination.

The colours were then gradually adjusted to establish the basic tones and firm up the main structure of the layout.



At this point the larger details began to be set near their final positions, the angle of the deck of the bridge for example was adjusted.

The sub design was then ready to be painted meaning the form of individual back ground elements began to appear while background colour was simultaneously worked towards it’s final hues.

Thoe Elzinga explains fined points to Bertrand de Vivies
Thoe Elzinga discussing finer points to Bertrand de Vivies

As more researched information became available and the background began to look convincing it was possible to start to sketch in fore ground elements.

Colours and tones were moved closer to their final forms in particular the sky and river began to radically change.

This in turn enabled progressively more subtle colours and detail to be added.

The artist's palette
The artist’s palette

When the design was completed drawing was refined and sharpened then gradually colour details were adjusted to their final forms with added touches of contra colours to introduce vibrancy, enhance perspective and drama.

The artists signature was added.

Port of Gaillac 1863 as completed 01.07.14
Port of Gaillac 1863 as completed 01.07.14

As far as most people are concerned the painting is now complete.

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Framing & finale

At this point ideally Gordon Frickers prefers to frame the picture, to allow the colours time to settle and himself time to review the work and make minor adjustments, what he calls ‘fine tuning’, however time was a critical factor, ‘jobdun’, the rest is now a part of Gaillac history, enjoy.

Fine Detail

You may have noticed we spent as much time as possible in the time available, learning about the finer points to be included in this painting?

The bridge used today was built in 1938 so that was ‘included out’ as were many other less conspicuous details. The previous bridge, the third recorded was a single track suspension bridge with a wooden road way.

Following a serious accident in 1936 caused by the bridge deteriorating it was demolished and replaced.

Today only a few elements of its foundations can be seen; except in this paintings and surviving old black and white photos.

Balloons and boat handling

A Montgolfier style balloon appears drifting across the early morning sky, detail behind the bridge.

The painting also shows us a number of boat handling techniques.

We can see one of the methods of loading tunne and across the river a gabbare is arriving from Bordeaux.

Having cast off her tow she is being prepared for either entering the lock or wrapping across to the Gaillac shore it’s not cleat yet which.

Can you wait a few more minutes to see what they do???

Boat and cargo handling

Boat and cargo handling (detail)

Records show people at Gaillac took to the air with some alacrity so the pretty balloon in our picture symbolic. 

Gaillac has a long aviation history which includes one of the first aerodromes in France.

Gaillac had an three day festival of flying, fete d’aviation, at the aerodrome 20, 21, 22 of May 1911

Gordon Frickers has aimed to give us an insight into the complexities of the river trade by showing a variety of gabbare (boats and barges), seven different basic types were used, they varied in size, form and purpose.

Likewise there are several different ‘cargos’ in evidence ashore and afloat.

Merchandise is arriving from Bordeaux, different types of wagon are arriving with Gaillac produce for Bordeaux.

Several typical trades are in evidence most notably coopers and boat builders.

Gaillac, coopers etc
Gaillac, coopers etc

There was and still is a café in the rue de Navigation, now closed, it’s in the painting too, the same family still own the building.

Many other buildings in this painting have reverted to their 1863 appearance, homes now that were ware houses, boat sheds and stores.

Most notably the mill, sold 1829, rebuilt in 1830 and now partly demolished was painstakingly reconstructed as the original building by Gordon Frickers.

Eventually “The Port of Gaillac 1863” logged well over 275 hours spread over 5 months.

The Port de Gaillac 1863” painting is we hope you agree, unique, a treasure.

Besides being a pleasing picture it is also an historic document quite unlike any of the other paintings of the river Tarn at Gaillac and by far the most authoritative.

Internet small screens can only give you a taste of how this large original appears.

The Internet can’t convey the subtle colouring or the full impression of the grandeur of the original painting.

A visit to Gaillac and the Invincible Vigneron is recommended.

The Quays of Gaillac

Where was the old Quay or quays?

Quai St Jaques was the obvious candidate for this painting, when people today speak of ‘The Quay’ they mean quai St Jaques but it did not conclusively ‘fit the picture’.

For one thing the Quai St Jaques is very vulnerable to inundation when the river is in flood, an all to frequent event. 

On some old maps this area is named not as quai (quay) but as la plage (beach).
Quai St Jaques could serve well enough during the summer season but even in summer given flash floods a 1 metre rise of the Tarn means you would see the land or rather you would not see the land because half the surface area would vanish under water.

The ‘new quay’ 

mmediately down river of Quai St Jaques has a higher profile and is stone built, but, was it too new to fit our proposed date?

Some maps name this quay as quai ecombarge.

Above the weir are 3 quays.

The Abbaye quai, is immediately down stream of the Abbaye before the mill.

The abbaye cellars are know to have been used to ware house wine barrels.

The quay, the smallest of the 5, was probably only used for products handled by the abbaye.

The town quay

is immediately up river of the Abbaye.

Bertrand de Vivies assured Gordon the area was not a quay.

The banks are overgrown so at first glance it does not look very promising.

Gaillac 'town' quay, a quay mystery.
Gaillac ‘town’ quay, a quay mystery.

It has virtues which include it is a substantial open level area between the ancient town walls and the river.

The water beside the bank is deep and relatively calm, the main current at that point flowing the other side of the river.

It is less liable to flood than Quai St Jaques because of the configuration of the river and influence of the weir.

To a sea man’s eye the bank looks like the best mooring along the entire Gaillac waterfront.

Are there ancient stones under the under growth, a quay, a Roman dock?

In the town walls you can still see the remains of a tower that in medieval times was a gateway into Gaillac via a bridge.

The bridge tower
The bridge tower

There may have been a Roman bridge, we found no evidence.

We are reliably told there were two medieval bridges during that early period when Gaillac was regenerating from the dark ages, though little remains of them.

The second bridge is said to have been destroyed by English and Gascon raiders lead by Prince Edward, “The Black Prince”, the eldest son of Edward III, during the Plantagenet period. 

A struggle began between England and France during the reign of Edward III for ownership of lands now considered west and south west France, the Hundred Years War.

That long conflict pitted the kings and kingdoms of France and England against each other from 1337 to 1453.

Two factors lay at the origin of the conflict: first, the status of the duchy of Guyenne (or Aquitaine)-though it belonged to the kings of England, it remained a fief of the French crown, and the kings of England wanted independent possession. Second, as the closest relatives of the last direct Capetian king (Charles IV, who had died in 1328), the kings of England from 1337 claimed the crown of France.

It was during this period that the national French and English cultural identities separated and individualised.

The old wooden Gaillac bridge was caught in the conflagration.

The first fuel for that fire was the invasion in 1066 and conquest of England by William Duke of Normandy

As king of England William became very coy about his fealty to the king of France.

The first Plantagenet (the name comes from from Plante Genest a type of common broom so probably started as a nickname) was King Henry II nd whose father owned vast lands in Anjou an area as big as Normandy around the modern town of Tours.

Henry’s wife Eleanor ruled the even larger territory to the south called Aquitaine.

The ‘Roman’ quay

is opposite the Abbaye on the SW bank just up river of the modern lock.

The Roman quay opposite the Abbaye
The Roman quay opposite the Abbaye

For a piece of old river bank it has ‘quay’ written all over it.

The land has been owned by the Counts of Octave de Noblet d’Anglure for longer than anyone can trace, certainly since before records were destroyed during the religious wars in France.

The present count, Le Comte, Charles Octave de Noblet d’Anglure grew up by the banks of the Tarn raised in the 40 + bedroom family mansion next to the Abbaye.

Few people today know the area better than Charles de Noblet.

Charles is firmly of the opinion the road leading to that quay was a Roman road from the huge Roman pottery works at Montans.

Roman pottery from Montans has been identified as far afield as Portugal and the North of Scotland.

It’s reasonable to conclude the quay would have been used to ship amphorae and other pottery which means either the weir has moved or the Romans built a lock; more likely the latter. The earliest lock Gordon Frickers could identify with certainty on an old maps dated 1806. There is probably more evidence awaiting, unlocked…

The River Tarn was for over 300 years the frontier between the giant Roman province of Narbonne which reached from the Alps to near present day Barcelona in Spain and the world of Asterix, Obolix, and the Gauls.  

The new quay (quai ecombargeand Quai St Jaques

Following further research it was established beyond doubt including with the aid of maps the new quay (quai ecombargeand Quai St Jaques were very actively employed during the first half of the 19 th century.

Much of the 2 preceding centuries witnesses the shipping a wide range of products including wheat, charcoal, timber, pastel dyes, fresh vegetables and large quantities of wine.

The new quay shows evidence of having been repaired and rebuilt many times.

We were unable to establish when it was first stone built, the balance of probabilities being during the first half of the 19th century but it could have been 1, 2 or even 3 hundred years earlier.

We learnt the Tarn flooded above the level of quai St Jaques only on average once or twice per hundred years.

Flood level May 1930
Flood level March 1930

When the capricious river Tarn does flood it has often done so ‘big time’.

The barrels stored in the ware houses simply floated so no one much minded.

Not so today, the ware houses having been converted into private homes, flooded as recently as 2014.

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In the beginning

Coat of arms, Gaillac
Coat of arms, Gaillac

Gaillac is sited at the ancient navigable head of the river Tarn, thus was the regional gateway to the world so gave its name to the region and many of its products.

A Market town and center of the local wine region. Markets are on Friday mornings and highly recommended.

During the summer Friday evenings see open air concerts held in the Abbey grounds wine and food are usually included.

This pleasant town is worth a visit for coffee or lunch and if you want to see unspoiled old SW France take a wander around the older quarters.

Gaillac, old quarter, detail
Gaillac, old quarter, detail with old shop

Gaillac region

one of the sunniest in Europe, it offers a wide range of wines from winemakers who will be delighted to share their love of the terrior with you.

While the prestigious trade was in wine, many other exportable and importable products passed over the quays of Gaillac to be floated down river to Bordeaux for onward shipping.

Bordeaux, at one time the busiest most prosperous port in Europe has for centuries, right up to the last 40 years dominated Gaillac.

When looking at the architecture it quickly became clear many of the waterfront properties mostly now private homes hand been specialised buildings including a café now a gite, warehouses and a number of buildings he could not identify with certainty.
Certainly the backwater that is today’s Quai St Jaques had formerly been a busy place of some importance.

It then occurred to Gordon Frickers that Gaillac has given it’s name to an entire district and many products especially ‘Gaillac wines’; his question was, why?

The second line of thinking; while working on “Picturesque Wine Villages of Bordeaux” Gordon Frickers became increasingly aware to the importance of the rivers and river traffic in the region.

Most of the waterfront and near waterfront villages in the Bordeaux area have a quay.

Many are today silted, reed filled and over grown.

Your observant eye will soon notice under the grass, dressed stone quays, bollards and ring bolts which still whisper tales of busier times, of glorious days past.

A very few of the ‘petite’ ports retain some activity mostly as yacht berths and for the declining numbers of fishermen.

It became apparent to Gordon formally vast quantities of produce were shipped to Bordeaux for sale and onward shipment especially by the up hinterland river ports.

He began to understand the story of the port of Gaillac serves us well as a classic example of an upriver port serving the Bordeaux region.

His two tracks of thought converged.

He found himself thinking about the history of the port of Gaillac, it’s influence on the Gaillac Albigois region and it’s relationship to his main project, “Picturesque Wine Village of Bordeaux”.

Gordon thought perhaps, maybe, the new painting would be like the much acclaimed “The Port of Chester 1863” described because of its extensive research as “the best possible historical guess” and by the Chester Chronicle as “THE benchmark painting of the old port of Chester”.

The Chester Municipality were so thrilled and appreciative of that painting and the prints they created a civic reception which over 400 guests attended.

That amazing tale is told on Port of Chester page.

For Gaillac, first we needed much more information or it will be more guess than historical document…

It was not long before he was looking for information for a painting to be in the style of The Port of Chester 1863.

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Ancient days

Wine has been grown upriver from Bordeaux in the Gaillacois, one of France’s oldest, most beautiful and most under-rated wine regions, for 2,400 years.

Our archaeological friends tell us the Phoneticians colonized this valley of ancient Gaul and planted the first vines.

Therefore Gaillac is one of the oldest wine growing regions of France.

Gaillac was from earliest times the regional gateway to the world so gave its name to the region and many of its products.

People on the river would have said ‘I’m going to Gaillac’ (‘Galhac’ in the old language of l’Occitan) hence the region taking the name of Gaillac not one of the larger nearby towns.

Archaeologists tell us the Phoneticians, a bronze age Mediterranean sea faring people originating in what is now Lebanon penetrated the turbulent, dangerous river Tarn to Gaillac.

The Phoneticians were brave persistent sea men known to have reached ‘The Misty Isles‘ (Albion, today called Great Britain) to trade for the invaluable product tin, essential for the making of bronze.

Evidence of that trade has been found along the south Cornish Coast from the little village of Mousehole (pronounced Mozzel) in the far west to the shores of Mount Batten, opposite Sutton Harbour where the great city of Plymouth, Devon has grown to prominence and world fame.

How the Phoneticians reached Gaillac is most likely an epic tale.

The Tarn is the second fastest flowing river in Europe, liable to unpredictable ferocious flooding.

The river Tarn streams through forest and many a deep gorge.

By the time the river Tarn reaches Montauban it is as wide as the river Thames is at London. 

When the Phoneticians reached what is now Gaillac a small Gaulish village probably existed on the site.

The sites was ideal for the founding of a village, easily defended and at that time represented the navigable head of the river Tarn.

The two healthy fresh water streams about half a kilometre apart feed into the Tarn at this place, you can still see them.

The two streams have helped make a natural relatively deep water pool in the Tarn at Gaillac, you can see it there today.

Up river of Gaillac the river was until 1840 so rock strewn as to be unsafe for all but the small boats thus for long centuries the natural ancient navigable head of the river Tarn was Gaillac.


From vines planted by Phonetician colonists’ Gaillac wine was already renowned when 300 years later the Roman orator Cicero praised them. You can find more about Gaillac wines and their very long story on ‘History – Gaillac Wines‘. 

The wines the Romans made became the currency of choice between the colonizers and the native tribes whose cooperation they needed.

By then kilns at nearby Montans were providing pottery including thousands of amphorae to ship wine all around the vast Roman world, evidence has even been found as far North as Scotland, so the quay of Gaillac was a busy place in Roman times.

The Roman little museum at Montans explains much so is a rewarding place to visit. (hyperlink?)

Fragments of thousands of amphorae made in the kilns at nearby Montans can be found throughout the Roman world.

Exports from Gaillac to northern Europe (and later the Americas) had to pass downriver to the port of Bordeaux for onward shipping.

The terra cotta jars travelled more safely and their contents less shaken up when transported by water rather than ox carts on rough paths and trails. It was cheaper, more efficient, too, which led to the commercial rise of the port of Gaillac.

The region has an exceptional wine-growing climate, where Atlantic and Mediterranean influences merge and there’s a diverse range of wonderful soils and sites.

Only Roman citizens were allowed to make wine until 213 when Caracalla allowed all the Gauls to grow vines.

The dark ages

By 476, however, the end of the Roman Empire was in sight and things started to go seriously wrong in the wine business.

By 507, the Visigoths, Normans, Franks and Huns had ravaged, laid waste to the Roman Empire.

They destroyed towns, villages and organized viticulture for centuries to come.

Things were reviving by 920BC when records show a donation of vines to the Canon of nearby Albi.

Monks of the religious orders played a huge role in this economic revival by planting and tending new vineyards, many on land bequeathed to the Church by the faithful.

Medieval Gaillac

As far back as 1311, 41,739 barrels of wine were recorded in transit.

The bloody 13th-14thC crusades by the Pope and King of France against the Cathars, heretical Christians were unpopular and brought further ruin.

The Cathars, protected when possible by local lords vainly sought refuge in castles and hill towns through out the south west.

To the Gaillac region the crusaders brought death, more destruction of the vineyards and loss of trade once more.

Eventually the last Cathars were ‘eliminated’, exterminated by the Roman Catholic Inquisition.

Exports from Gaillac to northern Europe resumed.

There are records in the Tower of London stating ‘the king liked Gaillac wine order more’.

Gaillac wines had to pass downriver to the port of Bordeaux, a region determined to advance its own wines and strictly control competition from the Haut Pays like Gaillac, upriver.

At various times, Gaillac exports were deliberately held up at Bordeaux until St Martin’s Day (Nov 11), St Andrew’s Day (Nov 30) and even Christmas Day allowing foreign ships to load and leave with their cargos of Bordeaux wine.

Taxation was always a thorn in the side of the Gaillac wine trade.

It became very onerous, a barrel of corn was once demanded as the duty on two barrels of wine! A considerable burden since 41,739 barrels of wine were recorded in transit in 1311 alone!

During the 100 Years War in the 14th Century this fierce rivalry over wine exports swung back and forth depending on who was winning, England, which controlled Bordeaux, or the King of France.

In 1451 the French King took Bordeaux, to increase his popularity (Bordeaux wanted to say ‘English’) free movement of shipping was granted to all wines.

Meanwhile, the Gaillac barrels themselves were literally hot iron branded to identify the contents and region of origin.

In Gaillac’s case, a cockerel (also one of the symbols of France) and the coat of arms of Gaillac hence the wines are called “vins de coq”.

This technique has given us the word “brand”, the label of origin

An indication of the importance of the wine trade in years gone by still reverberates in modern shipping.

To day, most ships are measured by the ton.

Thus, how many tunne could a ship carry and of course what was the taxable value?

Gaillac, by the tun (detail)
Gaillac, by the tun (detail)

The modern ‘ton’ measure derives directly from the old French; tun, ‘tun’, tunne’, ‘tonne’ The tonnage affects every aspect of the ships live, cargo capacity, insurance, number and type of crew and so on.

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Gordon Frickers

has a long association with the Gaillac and Albi regions, often living there for extended periods as a non resident.

I have produced many outstanding paintings and is one of the very few artists to have been invited to exhibit at the European Parliament (Brussels May 2011).

See web sites and

My aim here became to help people more fully understand the appearance of the Gaillac Quay at its zenith in order for the citizens and visitors to better appreciate Gaillac.

Initial research quickly showed (or rather did not show…) there are few official records and no outstanding illustration of the quay of Gaillac.

The river quay of Gaillac is a great resource for the Gaillacios yet today it is almost forgotten.

Formerly the quay was the main trade route for the Gaillacios, the principal reason for Gaillac’s existence.

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More Detail

The River Tarn

Le Tarn
Le Tarn

The biggest character in this story is the river Tarn, strong, beautiful, dangerous, a giver and taker of life.

The Tarn is famous for its brutal flooding, which are the most dangerous in Europe along with the River Danube.

This is a river that has carved the landscape into plateaus, river valleys and deep gorges.

Flooding during March and again in May (2,3,4,) 1930 the Tarn rose more than 17 metres (56 ft) above its normal level in Montauban in just 24 hours, with a discharge of 7,000 cubic metres.

Houses damaged by the floods of March and may 1930
Houses damaged by the floods of March and may 1930

On the second occasion at Gaillac the Tarn rose to the gutters of the building at Quai St Jaques, rue de Navigation in the process destroying much property and many valuable records of the old port trade.

Extensive Damage was caused by The Great Flood of May 1930.

Important enough to warrant an Ariel photo and post card…

One third of the Tarn-et-Garonne department was flooded.

300 people died, thousands of houses were destroyed, the low districts of Montauban were destroyed, the town of Moissac was almost entirely destroyed.

By comparison the average discharge of Rhine is 2,200 cubic meters average discharge of Nile River during the traditional annual flooding before the building of the Aswan Dam was 8,500 m³/s; average discharge of the Mississippi River is 16,200 cubic metres.

Source: Frank Baldock
Wine Express

Le Tarn March 2015, note the 'scalded' fore shore...
Le Tarn March 2015, note the ‘scalded’ fore shore…

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Quai St Jaques, La Plage is the name some of the old maps 

Trade over the quay of Gaillac reached its zenith during the 1850’s with over 200 gabbare of differing sizes (barges) registered with the Capitanerie, Gaillac before the arrival of the railway.  

The role of the Tarn and Gaillac as a regional port declined rapidly after the 1864 arrival of the steam railway connection to Toulouse hence Gordon Frickers choosing 1863.

The killer blow for the quays of Gaillac was the phylloxera plague that wiped out Europe’s vines until grape growers eventually learnt to graft their vines onto immune American vine root stocks.

Bertrand de Vivies confirmed the quay was a busy industrious place with a history as old as Gaillac; exports included wine, indigo, charcoal and wheat.

During the 19 th century many of the buildings on the rue de Quai were ware houses and boat repair / building facilities.

Records show many boats and gabbare were repaired and built at Gaillac.

Material for boat building was plentiful from the nearby forests.

It was by the 19 th century common practice upon arrival at Bordeaux to sell not only the cargo but the Gabbare as well

The quarter immediately behind rue de navigation was inhabited mostly by coopers.

Hundreds of coopers employed to handle the forest oaks and meet the demand for barrels.

You can learn about their skills and trade at the Museum ‘Invincible Vigneron’.

Many early records were burnt during the religious wars when Protestants over ran Gaillac but that does not explain the lack of 19 th century information.

The Quai Saint Jacque where most people reasonably think the quay was on closer examination the land today, water depth and currents don’t fit the scenario well.

Goods and boats were undoubtedly handled from there but we doubt it was the principal quay.

We thought the ‘new’ stone quay is a more likely candidate by 1863.

Subsequent research confirmed our deductions.

Charles de Noblet first brought this to Gordon Frickers attention.

Charles knows well much of the history, the river, currents and best places to fish.

After reading the currents I am sure he is right.

We walked the terrain both sides of the river together and discussed the history we think there are 5 possible sites for the old quay.

By reading the river currents, terrain, looking for ‘artifacts’ like bollards and mooring rings, allowing for commercial and historical pressures and importantly, listening to Bertrand de Vivies we thought there was a significant 19 th century quay immediately upriver of the abbey with an older smaller abbey quay hard by the watermill.

The land and river strongly suggest to a knowing eye a mill at Gaillac and on the opposite bank a lock must have existed for a very long time. Like wise we established the wier has changed shape but been on the same site for at least 600 years.

Given the depths of water and the influence of the two fresh water streams it is likely the weir has occupied the same location since pre historic times.

That would also fit well with what we summarized about the more ancient quays of Gaillac and vice versa. 

Records in Albi and maps in Gaillac prove there was a mill and lock at least as far back as the beginning of the end of the 18 th century, also that the weir was re built about every 50 years.

According to Charles de Noblet there was an old quay on the opposite bank were the medieval bridge and later, a cable ferry crossed the river.

After our meeting on Bertrand’s advice, Frank Balcock found 3 illustrations of paintings in a couple of locally published books

However again we were left with more questions than answers, there are many fascinating details, it was clear much was inaccurate.

All in all inconclusive, not much to go on…

The Abbey

The Abbey St Michael was built while a cable ferry operated on the river, to present an imposing face to the Toulouse road.

At that time you would have arrived at Gaillac via the rue de navigation passing on your left the houses of quai St Jaques.

You would have arrived facing and looking up into the main doors of the abbay.

Bertrand de Vivies is of the opinion the Abbey and fore shore changed little after the revolution (when some cloisters were destroyed).

The barges

Bertrand de Vivies said properties along the Quai Saint Jacques which used to be the main road from and to Toulouse were occupied by barge captains and used as ware houses to store goods and for boat building.

The properties immediately behind were occupied by people who worked in associated trades in particular large numbers of coopers.

There were seven different types of gabbareavec l’orthographe, gabare, gabarre, meaning 2 spellings, the generic type being a French barge, mostly river craft but some grew up and became sea going coasters as did barges else where in Europe, the Thames barge being a classic example) used at Gaillac sizes ranging from 7 to 20 metres, 21 to 65 feet, length on the deck. 

Translation of Gabarre in the dictionnaire français-anglais and dictionnaire analogique gives … watercraft; oceangoing ship; seagoing ship; barge; boat.

Gordon Frickers thinks ‘ocean going ship’ is rather a landsman’s exaggeration…

Gabarre was a term widely, casually, applied to vessels the English would call barges and coasters carrying merchandise on the extensive water ways of Western France.

The word appears in common usage at least as far North as the river Loire and in various spellings.

We know most of the larger Tarn barges in common with many other European small craft set a square sail, were generally horse or man drawn (pulled and warped) up river and sailed or drifted down river.

When working a barge down stream a technique understood by river and sea men was to use a weight to brush the river bottom to keep the vessel head to current and the rudder to steer her in the current.

The ‘weight’ could be a tree branch weight=ed down with stones.

That had the added advantage of helping dredge the river so was a technique widely used in former days.

All the etchings Gordon Frickers found showed the gabbare being pulled up river by teams of men in harnesses on tow paths. 

Gaillac museum has one model of a barge. 

That barge, a rather ‘narrow’ boat is not typical, said worked from Albi to Bordeaux, it would be interesting to learn why the model was made.

It is an excellent model but should not be considered typical of the Tarn gabbare.

Parts of those ancient tow paths on the banks of the Tarn still exist however the river is by law now no longer navigable.

Worse, all the locks have been turned into mini hydro electricity stations rendering any chance of future navigation remote.

Was a particular breed of horse used to pull the barges ?

There was in England but this is France.

Bertrand de Vivies confirmed that until the mid 19 th century after a labour of some 40 years a ‘canal’ or navigable, marked route was cleared between Gaillac and Albi.

This monumental work had a very brief life.

After 20 years a railway arrived rapidly ending the Albi barge traffic.


The weir (barrage) in more or less its present form appears in many paintings, the best known seems to be purporting to show the celebrations for the opening of the 1838 suspension bridge.

The earliest maps Gordon Frickers saw dated to 1650 all showed a weir.

The shape and exact position of the weir varied.

Documents in Albi speak of the weir being ‘built’.

This is mentioned with remarkable regularity every 50 years.

We conclude there has been a weir at Gaillac probably since Gaulish times, built meant major repairs and we would have expected it to have been regularly repaired.


We know the present bridge was completed in 1938 replacing an earlier suspension bridge built approximately 1837/8.

We have a couple of illustrations of the suspension bridge, more would be very helpful.

The oldest known bridge was built about 1350.

It is likely but not proven there was a Roman bridge.

Remains or the medieval bridge and its defensive tower can still be seen in the old city wall about 200 meters upriver of the Abbey.

On the opposite bank (in the next commune) the roadways that lead to it still exists on property owned by Charles de Noblet.

It was built on 2 stone piles with a wooden roadway.

The second bridge is said to have been destroyed during the 100 years war by the Plantagenet armies (English & Gascoyne).

That bridge was replaced by a cable ferry until a suspension bridge was built during the 19 th century.

The Mill

The mill site changed ownership in 1829.

The documents are in the Albi archives.

The old mill, a family business was demolished after which a new much larger building was constructed.

The new mill was a series of buildings which represented a large investment, for that period in Gaillac they were considered substantial buildings and would reflect the amount of grain being produced in the region.

The mill shown in this painting is the 1829 mill.

Part of it has been demolished, all the remaining building is in a poor state of repair, unfortunate because it could still be a great asset to Gaillac.

In Gordon Frickers painting the 1829 mill has been carefully restored after he surveyed the site and found suitable photographic and other evidence.

Although no evidence was found, looking at the site, it is entirely conceivable that there has been a mill on the site from earliest times or at least since Roman times.

The Lock

Our painting does not show the lock by the weir.

The lock, converted into a mini hydro electricity generator in 1930 would have been an important piece of equipment for Gaillac.

The earliest reference to the lock Gordon Frickers had time to discover was on a map dated 1805.

He also found a post card with the following printed on it:

L’écluse, sur la rive gauche, a été édifiée en 1827 et reconstruite en 1828 avec un péage”.

“The lock on the left bank of the river was created in 1827 and in 1828 a toll was added”.

carte postale, ecluse et moulin
carte postale, ecluse et moulin

Several experts told Gordon Frickers the pool above the weir was not used to ship merchandise.

Contrary to that view this is telling us the previous lock was replaced and the lock was sufficiently busy to warrant a toll booth and staff so very clearly vessels were entering the pool in significant numbers opposite Gaillac town long before the river was cleared to Albi. Gordon proposes that the 3 quays banking the pool above the weir were in constant use during the 18 th and 19 th centuries and very probably for centuries long before that.

Gordon Frickers is of the opinion it is inconceivable the Romans could have sent large quantities of produce down the Tarn without building stout locks.

The alternatives would have been to ‘portage’ their smaller boats, try and ‘shoot’ the weirs (known to have been done but always risking serious damage to hulls & cargo) or to unload and re load at each weir.

Certainly after the dark ages locks, a simple technology, were again in use in Europe by the late 13 th century so possibly re appeared back on the Tarn early on during the renaissance.

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Gaillac and other Archives

Researching this project ‘The Port of Gaillac 1863‘ was a nexus for a considerable body of scattered knowledge.

Archives Gaillac
Archives Gaillac

You have probably noticed how often books contradict each other or simply copy each other?

In the case of Gaillac the archives are in considerable disarray.

Those that survived the Protestant fires during the religious wars of the 16 th century and the great flood of 2,3,4 May 1930 are scattered thinly through private collections, Albi, Gaillac, Toulouse and probably elsewhere too.

The Press

Unfortunately and surprisingly the entire regional media including the leading newspaper La Depeche complacently turned a deaf ear to requests from  their audience to engage with and contribute from private sources to research thus they missing an interesting story, a prime opportunity to promote themselves and the chance to contribute to the regional culture.

Thus for the “Port of Gaillac 1863”, Quai St Jaque, Gordon turned to two archives in particular, respective in Albi and Gaillac.

Many questions remain, time or budget were important factors for this commission, thus we made as complete a study of this significant period and place in the story of Gaillac as possible in the time available.

Gordon Frickers had the considerable benefit of the expert help of staff in the archives and in particular of Madame Myriam Vigouroux from L’Office de Tourisme, Gaillac.

The first task set Myriam was to get us past the form filling, the paperwork and into the archives (Gordon now has a pass).

Then figure out how the archived information was best accessed, then try to discover the sparkling gems hiding in seemingly endless dull, dusty data.

In this we were largely successful.

We discovered much, there remain many tasks outstanding, certainly enough to justify a second painting but without a commission which is unlikely those research tasks are not going to happen.

The tasks include following up on the reference codes collected in Albi, further reading at Gaillac and to visit other archives in particular those in Toulouse and Toulouse University.

During our research we discovered many words and there will be more that were French or L’Occitan and quite unknown to me, guide Madame Myriam Vigouroux and the archive staff.

The mystery words included – foulon, construction d’eslacades, contre-digne, batardeau, profil en long, des bacs ?

Particular thanks go to Manu Wenzlaff who knew the words and better still, was able to fully explain what they meant.

The help of experts like Manu Wenzlaff and Myriam Vigouroux contribute to giving “The Port of Gaillac 1863” a credibility, an authority many paintings lack.

Theo Elzinga kindly found 3 helpful books and a friend of his with a few copies of early 20 th century photographs and half a dozens map copies all of which were useful.

Embarrassingly the maps along with a book on Gaillac’s history belonging Gordon Frickers went missing from the museum Invincible Vigneron.

Gordon Frickers is learning the hard way there are a lot of light fingered people around, back in

2011 while living at Itzac and sharing Chris Boddington’s studio Gordon had 15 paintings, books and art materials stolen shortly after Alan Ansell also started to share the studio (see our ‘stolen art’ page).

Archives departmentales du Tarn23.01.2014

On the first visit to Albi, Myriam and Gordon spent some 4 and a half hours mostly noting reference codes, titles and tags, a small but significant beginning.

That task was later expanded to include many more hours passed in the archives.

The Albi archive can be found at

Go to Acces /aux fonds/ les fond archives/ archive modernes 1800 – 1940

This has the great benefit of being source material not quotes from a book so is added value for the credibility of the painting and the museum that now houses this art work.

Series 3 S Navigation Interiore from about S31 to S 81 has all sorts of documents that may hold treasures.

Gordon Frickers is confident we could discover (subject to a budget and available time) much more accurate historical information of value for among other things promoting tourism to Gaillac, which could be placed in the safe keeping of & benefit the Musee de Gaillac.

We discovered when the present water mill was built (1829 +) and that the barrage (weir) was rebuilt in 1839 an event that records show happens about ever 50 years. (3 S 2/43

We confirmed the first steam train arrived in 1864.

That means our date could be 1863 which curiously is the date of Gordon Frickers popular, highly successful Port of Chester painting (The Port of Chester 1863).

A good omen!

We were able to confirm that in 1863 there was a suspension bridge at Gaillac, work started on the bridge shown in our painting in 1839 (3 S 2/78).

There is more information on these ‘details’ elsewhere in this text under headings like ‘Bridge’ and ‘Mill’, find, enjoy.

Gordon Frickers was unable to confirm a date or reason for the construction of the large stone quay immediately down river from Quai St Jaques.

This was critical to the perspective of the painting.

Fortunately several old maps did show a quay being used by shipping (gabbares).

We found a wealth of documents that may or may not refer to the quai.

We recorded their reference numbers.

What we like best is solid conformation quoting an original documentary source.

We hope this post will help and inspire people to more fully understand the appearance of the Gaillac Quay at its zenith in order for the citizens and visitors to better appreciate Gaillac.

Further research

Archive Moderne 1800 – 1940 3S7S go to acces aux fonds – les fonds archives – archive modernes 1800 1940.

Names of note for this painting:

M. Lasborde (plan de moulin1821, F12/74), see also M. Moisset.

Mlle Celine Plasse & M. Moisset(100 F 12/81 plan passage sous le rue du moulin)

M. Thomas seems to be the person who sold property to Celine Plasse.

M. Hermet (seems to be the architect who built the suspension bridge probably in year 1839. I’d like to confirm the date the suspension bridge was built).

Confirmed, the year the steam railway first ran from Gaillac was 1864…, to Toulouse.

Today the marshalling yarns are in an advanced stage of decay however the rail link is in good shape and still offers a popular regular passenger service.

GOOGLE search key words for quay (quai) dates: quai, navigation, M. Lasborde, M. Moisset, barrage du Tarn, Barrage de Gaillac, other…

Search Gaillac for ‘Etat des Fonds des Archives’.

I, Gordon Frickers remain very interested in this subject which has potential for another painting.

Can you can reveal or you know some one who has unrecorded pictures or documents relating to the Gaillac Quay during the first half of the 19 th century?

If yes we are happy to add your story to this page which in turn will help others and may surprise us all.

We are particularly interested to review local information and histories relating to the Gaillac quay 19 th circa and know of businesses still trading from the first half of the 19 th century.

If you have maps, plans, pictures, photos and documents related to Gaillac quay, first half of the 19 th century to add to our local heritage please contact us via info @ or by phone


Credit were credit is due

On of the great pleasures of this sort of work is the varied people one meets, enjoy being with, some become friends.

Many people have helped make this painting possible my profound thanks to all.

If I’ve missed anyone out the error as with any error in this text is entirely mine.

Please accept my profound apologies, let me know, I’ll add your name with p


Bertrand de VIVIES Conservateur Mairie de Gaillac

Le Comte, Charles- Octave de Noblet d’Anglure, who’s family have lived in Gaillac for over 500 years. Charles guided Gordon Frickers over his land. Charles is a wealth of information much of it in no history book. Happily Charles does from time to time give public lectures.

Dr. Fiona Ferbrache transport and immigration specialist, Oxford University.

Madame Miriam Vigouroux who helped me survey many original records.

The staff of l’Office du Tourisme, Gaillac.

Frank Baldock, journalist, Wine Express

The staff in the archives of Albi and Gaillac all of whom were invariably helpful.

Manu Wenzlaff for sound advice and help with some unusual vocabulary.

Theo Elziga for the commission and his charming assistant Christelle Brangeon for her cheerful willing help (Musee Invincible Vigeron, Broze).

Helene Ancelot for translations.

Alex Elzinga for translations & importantly making sure Gordon ate some times.

Hervé Boitel for his knowledge of the region and suggestions.

More to follow… 01.03.15 Gordon Frickers © revised 03.03.15

Principal sources
Location visits, archives of Albi and Gaillac, documents and maps.

‘Gaillac et les Gaillcois’, author Alain Soriano, ISBN 9 782908 778557 Price 15 Euros, available in English or French (unfortunately Gordon’s copy disappeared while he was working on the painting at the museum Invincible Vigneron).

Un Fleuve en 1840, author Jacques Poirier ISBN 2 226 01908 1

Office de Tourisme 29.06.13 from Myriam Vigouroux at the office de Tourisme, CdM

Expo au Musee de l’Abbaye, Gaillac : 29 Jeun – 3 Novembre

Regard photographique d’Eigene Tritat sur le Tarn

Archives at Albi – 20.01.14 – : 9 ? L’avenue de la verierie, Albi 05 63 36 21 00

Monday 13.30 – 17.30

Tues to Friday 09.00 – 12.30, 13.30 – 17.30

Saturday 09.00 – 12.00

Patricia Henriecn, Directrice de
l’Office de Tourisme

Bar on quai St Jaques, Berbic Bar, M. Fabre, decendants still live there.

M. Lortal = postcards

Mr Patrick LORTAL : ~ Immobilier, marie-hélène Plageoles, 47 rue de la Madeleine

the geologist: Pierre Courjeault-Radé).

La Rivière Espérance by Christian Signol. a vivid description of what the life of a French river used to be, till the railway superseded fluvial traffic

Bertrand de VIVIES Conservateur Mairie de Gaillac
Place d’Hautpoul 81600 GAILLAC T: 05 63 81 20 25

Bertrand said ~ there is a museum with models ~ but I miss understood where. An exact address and an appointment to be allowed to photograph the models ideally out of their cases would be very helpful.

Association du quai St Jaques – 20.01.14 – T : 05 63 57 40 35

Jose-Gabriel Iguinez

2 rue de la Navigation, 81600 Gaillac

I had a reply by email but it only directed me to web sites I already knew…

Mme McHon, habitante Quai St Jacques speaks English, has restored a house there.

Association du quai St Pierre – 20.01.14 –

06 03 22 91 27

Anne Sallagoity

5 av Georges Clemenceau, 81600 Gaillac

Musee St Jaques, rue de l’Inundation, Gaillac, T: 0899239353

Musee Marguerite Vieal de Moissac, rue de l’Abbaye, T:?

M. Alain Soriano T: 0563571814

Author, historian, deputy mayor, widely acclaimed as THE expert on Gaillac and an authority on paintings.

Alain Soreano described my work when introducing my exhibition at Gaillac, December 2016 as “More than a match for anything in the Musee d’Orsay.

Syndicat Mixte de Rivieire Tarn it is a picrure of “gabares de Gironde”

I find the “musée de la batellerie”, à Paris

There are 2 books about “les bateaux Garonnais”, written by the association of this museum, Theo buy them for you.

Regardez a la mairie de Moissac Museum in reserve being restored.

Espace Prosper Merimee, Bd Leon Cladel. Tel : 05 63 05 08 05

adesse mail :

Musee d Auvilar, gabarre (model) also visible, possibly more than one.

15 km after Moissac on the road to Agen = phone for info.

Guy Mercadier


Galerie Graal, Place Durand de Brendon T: 0899969067


C.V.V. Conservatoire Viti-Vinicole, Tres Cantous, 81600 BROZE

Tél. +33 (0)5 81 02 44 89

Michel Legrand T: 0561257257,

Said to be the man who runs the Albi tourist gabarres, knowledgable and expert,. Company based in Toulouse., see below.

Albi-Crisiers, 7 Port St Sauveur, 31000 Toulouse 31000

T: 0563435963

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