Developers threaten Appledore’s grade II* listed dry dock of 1856

Lundy ferry Oldenburg in Appledore dry dock 1993

Lundy ferry Oldenburg in dry dock at Appledore in 1993

Appledore's Grade II listed Richmond Dock as it is today

The dry dock as it is today

The good folks of Appledore in North Devon have got in touch to alert intheboatshed.net readers about another cause that’s well worth protecting – the fishing village’s grade II* listed dry dock completed in 1856.

In terms of importance, that grade II* listing puts it on a par with Jacobean mansions and medieval manor houses.

It seems Faversham’s Standard Quay (see the top left) is certainly not the only important maritime site at risk in this country.

The Appledore dock was built for an extraordinary-sounding business first established during the Napoleonic era by local businessman James Yeo. After Napoleon Bonaparte blocked supplies of shipbuilding timber from the Baltic, Yeo had the idea of part-building ships in Canada. They were completed to a seaworthy stage, packed with a cargo of timber, and towed across the Atlantic to Appledore for completion.

It sounds strange now, but it was obviously successful as it continued long after the Napoleons rule in Europe was over.

An organisation known as Celebrating Appledore’s Shipping Heritage (CASH) was set up in 2003 to fight inappropriate housing development on the historic site, which is known as Richmond Dock.

The situation now is that a local developer has appealed the latest refusal of planning ppermission and there is to be a public inquiry. The timescale for submitting alternative plans is mid-May so the clock is ticking is ticking for CASH, which is putting together a fully-costed business plan to place a maritime heritage centre on the site of the dry dock.

This would include the reinstating the dock for boat maintenance and repair and providing boat storage on-site, but also a museum, educational and gallery facilities, rentable office and workshop units, a retail area and a cafe.

As part of its campaign, CASH is seeking expressions of interest from prospective users of the site who may wish to use the dry dock, visit the centre, or work with the trust perhaps by providing help and advice on how to set up a successful heritage centre – and, of course, sources of funds.

Photographer Matthew Atkin in Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand Matthew Atkin boat photos from Thailand

Matt Atkin’s photos from Thailand

I never cease to be amazed by my brother Matthew Atkin’s beautiful photos of boats in the Far East.

It seems amazing and wonderful that Western and Eastern water craft should still be so different  in a globalised and homogenous era, and also given that the physics of water, the technology available for powering craft, and many of the materials available for boatbuilding are often the same or at least similar.

These latest photos from Thailand make the point. Check out the stylish young men, the older couple fishing, the elegant small canoes, the curvaceous pleasure boats and, perhaps most remarkable of all, the ferry with its astonishing truck motor balanced on what looks like a precarious pole and with a vicious-looking straight prop arrangement. I’ve seen photos of smaller craft set up like this, but this is much bigger than anything I’ve come across up to now.

Thanks bruv!

See more of Matt’s photos from Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Boxing Day at Rye Harbour

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Old beach boat at Rye Harbour. Click on the thumbnails for much
larger photographs

It’s almost a tradition in our house to take a trip down to Rye Harbour on Boxing Day, if the weather’s bright and clear – see this post from the same day last year. This time Julie’s cold and my injured right Achille’s heel prevented us walking very far, but I did manage to grab a few shots.

A nice bonus was that the pub has this photo including  singer, fisherman and ferryman Johnny Doughty on its wall. Johnny died in the mid-1980s,  but although the publican couldn’t say who was in the picture, I was pleased to find there were still people in the bar who remembered the old fella living in the hamlet and singing in the pub.

There are more photos of the old boy and the ferry, and a host of great images of local beach boats being used and built at the  Rye Harbour website – just enter the terms ‘Doughty’ and ‘boat’ in the search gizmo to find them.

Some time ago I put up a post some time ago explaining the story behind one of the songs most closely associated with Johnny, The Wreck of the Northfleet.

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Above left: the channel to the sea.  I suppose there’s not much call for pilotage
services when the tide’s low. Above right: the River Brede

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Motor launch at a boatyard near Rye. It’s interesting to compare this motor launch
with the one shown in this post

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Can anyone tell us something about this mysterious and interesting boat? Whoever designed it knew where a little extra standing room would cause the least harm to the boat’s sailing qualities