The 1850 dry docks at Bremerhaven, photographed last week
The dry dock photo from Bremerhaven harbour above shows what can happen when these treasures of industrial archaeology fall into utter neglect. No doubt the folks of Appledore will take careful note, and perhaps these photos will also seem relevant to those interested in the future of Faversham Creek.
The shot was taken on a brief trip last week by regular contributor Hans-Christian Riecke of Nordhorn’s Graf Ship Association. (By the way, we’re going to be at Nordhorn’s Canal Festival in a few weeks. If you’re in the area, please stop by to say hello!)
Here’s what Hans has to say:
‘Last week I have been on a short trip to the port of Bremerhaven. It was founded in the 19th century, when the River Weser became so severely silted that the original port of Bremen could not be reached by seagoing vessels.
‘Soon it became a thriving coastal town, with famous shipyards like Vulcan, Lloyd and Tecklenborg. Later it was the centre of German high sea fishing. But changing times claimed their toll and by 1995 nothing was left, the yards were bankrupt, the fishing industry was gone and unemployment was soaring.
‘Now it has been developed somewhat, with the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (our national maritime museum), the Klimahaus (which is devoted to the subject of the world climate) and the Columbus Centre. It is also a great rallying point for traditional wooden boats and historic ships, as you can see from the photos [below].
‘One shows the last working steam icebreakerWal, and in the background you can see as replica of a German-built replica hansekogge, the famous medieval trading vessel. Another is of a part of the port reserved for traditional boats. On the third you can see the remains of the old drydocks of 1850. It is not only in Appledore that they fall in decay.’
For more on the Graf Ship Association, zompen, tjalks and the rest, click here.