Back on line, finally, I have good news to share. Bob Telford has been in touch to say that Lena Reekie’s little shop at Iron Wharf has been refurbished and is back in business. So now there’s another reason to visit Faversham – in addition to the attractive old town, sheltered creeks, legendary boatyards, brilliant pubs and great beer, there’s now a cracking little shop selling second-hand bits and pieces of interest to classic boat nuts and low-budget sailers generally. You can bet I’ll be there as soon as I can make it.
If you are planning a visit, Iron Wharf is on the eastern side of Faversham Creek. While you’re there, check out John Copper’s bookshop, and the boats for sale at Cardinal Brokerage. From the Cardinal site, I can see there are some interesting boats on their books, including lifeboat conversion RNLI 47, a Belgian barge, an Alan Buchanan-designed 27ft East Anglian Sloop and a fiberglass-hulled Vertue II. Anyone out there drooling yet?
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Here’s a link I’ve been looking forward to putting up about another Maurice Griffiths favourite, Idle Duck, which by chance spent much of the summer sitting on a barge bottom a few feet from our own little boat.
When she arrived we experienced one of those amazing coincidences that sometimes arise, for it turned out that one of the crew was a musician and boating pal of ours. Anyway, through him we met Bob Telford, Idle Duck’s new owner.
The pictures tell the first part of the story, from when Bob found her through to her arrival at Alan Staley’s yard at Faversham for restoration and refitting work. Idle Duck, I should explain, is an astonishing boat, big and comfortable in every way, as the shots at the EOG site clearly show. She’s a 34ft long Bermudian cutter rigged cruising yacht, with a long keel and centreboard.
For the pictures of Idle Duck’s rescue:
This is Hollowshore Services, at the junction between Faversham and Oare creeks. Probably better known as Tester’s yard, Hollowshore Services specialises in smacks, and so this remote corner of Kent is a great place for sightseeing old boats and a few newer ones built in the old way. Many of them are moored along the creek’s eastern bank or nearby in the main channel. The shed itself is one of the last two in the country purpose-constructed for building sailing barges; the sailing club is housed in a small shed alongside that was once used for making barge boats.
Tucked away at the back of the yard is the Shipwright’s Arms, a sweet old pub complete with a splendid collection of beers. They say there is also the ghost of a shipwrecked barge skipper who after fighting for his life as his ship went down struggled to the inn and finally died of cold on the doorstep after failing to rouse anyone from their beds. No doubt they were all sleeping off the effects of a rollicking night in the cosy little front room…
For more on Hollowshore Services:
For more on the Shipwright’s Arms:
For a map:
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