Whitstable, December 2015
Whitstable Maritime is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to strengthen Whitstable’s future appeal as a visitor destination and advance the education of school children, students and adults by promoting appreciation of the town’s connections with the sea, and to develop responsible tourism that supports the local economy.
Put that way, it’s a big aim. When I met organisation director Gordon Vincent he was keen not to overplay what Whitstable Maritime specific aims, yet proposals laid before Whitstable’s harbour board some time ago seem pretty exciting to me. They include:
- developing education programmes for all ages and abilities, including those under-achieving or disadvantaged
- establishing a maritime discovery centre that will enable visitors to explore themes such as ‘The Impact of Man and Nature on the Coastline’ and ‘Seamanship and Navigation’
- promote the area’s maritime heritage and the continuation of traditional craft skills, including the restoration and sailing of historic craft
- raise awareness of the industrial archaeology and social history of the foreshore
- help conserve marine life in the Swale with particular reference to the oyster and fishing industries
Last year, the organisation purchased a 40ft oyster yawl built in 1907, which it has restored and registered with National Historic Vessels (UK).
I think we should wish them well – very well indeed. The organisation’s website could do with some development and will no doubt include a lot more information in future, but see it here.