Can we save the Kathleen & May for the UK?

Kathleen & May 800px-Tonnerres_de_Brest_2012_-_120714-01

Three masted Cardiff Bay schooner Kathleen & May at Brest last year. Photo by Pymouss

The fabulous Kathleen & May, our last surviving timber-built three-masted topsail schooner described by the National Historic Ships as ‘an outstanding vessel of national significance’ and part of the National Historic Fleet, is in grave danger of being sold abroad.

The Arts Council is expected to grant approval for her to be sold abroad and the South West Maritime History Society has got up a petition to try prevent such a disastrous move – sign it here:

The vessel is well known to the British public as it starred in the famous [BBC television drama series] The Onedin Line and took part in the Queen’s Jubilee Parade last summer.

The SWMHS is calling on David Cameron to protect listed ships in the same way as listed buildings, as is done in other countries. It has a point – the important elements of our culture are not limited to its biggest icons, such as the Cutty Sark, which has received enormous attention and spending.

It also wants the National Lottery to establishing a substantial ‘attendance and interpretation’ fund to enable many more of these wonderful ships to attend the festivals, help keep them well maintained, provide sailing opportunities for young people, help stimulate local economies including by attracting visitors from abroad, and generally showing the flag for Britain at festivals abroad. It seems a reasonable request in the light of calculations that nothing else the Lottery does offers such a low cost per view.

A splendid new Faversham Creek poster

Faversham Creek Trust poster

Faversham Creek Trust poster Faversham Creek Trust poster Faversham Creek Trust poster

Click on the images for a much bigger view!

Bob Telford of the Faversham Creek Trust has sent me this splendid poster telling the story of the creek and its industries, including boatbuilding at Standard Quay. It also outlines the trust’s proposals for its future.

The pdf version is Faversham Creek Trust poster.

I’m reminded that there’s a meeting tonight that will provide an important opportunity for voices in support of preserving to creek to be heard. See this earlier post for details. I’m sorry to say I won’t be able to attend as I’m currently battling a nasty bout of bronchitis, but I’m hoping some local readers will be there, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing how the event went.

Also on the subject of Standard Quay, don’t forget the petition calling on the council and planners to preserve this historic working quay and boatyard for the future – it needs your signature now!

PS – Regular readers will be pleased to know that it looks like the meeting on Tuesday went well from the campaign’s point of view!



Please sign the petition in support of Standard Quay’s boatbuilding future

Standard Quay

Standard Quay, winter 2010/11


Please sign this e-petition – it offers an opportunity to register public support for the aim of saving Faversham’s Standard Quay from a development that many fear could curtail or end the traditional boat building and repairing.

It’s a cause that deserves the support of anyone who cares about the future of traditional boat building, and about the future of the priceless Thames sailing barge fleet.

(If on signing you don’t immediately receive a confirmation email you haven’t signed, so please dig it out and click on the confirmation link. It’ll most likely be in your spam or trash folders.)

If you’re new to this issue, read more about the danger to Standard Quay at the Faversham Creek website and from this national newspaper article, and from the campaign press release, which I’ve posted in the comments below. (It’s not my press release, but I felt people should be able to access it.)

Also, do please take a moment to read the latest news and watch a short movie about Faversham Creek and Standard Quay put together by local film maker Simon Clay and journalist Richard Fleury. In relation to that site, I’d be curious to know which of the facts included in Simon Henley’s article are held to be incorrect by councillors. The news section of Simon and Richard’s site will explain what I mean.

I should report that I wrote to many of the local councillors just before an important meeting held in November and did not receive a single reply – not even an acknowledgement. (I have now had a reply from Mike Cosgrove.)

Finally, if you can, please pass this message to friends interested in this issue. The easiest way may be to select, copy and paste this web address into an email:

PS – The weblogs are taking up this story: