The story of Collar’s, the Whitstable boatyard

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Gamecock, built at Collar’s boatyard, Whitstable, in 1907. I took these
photos in Faversham Creek last weekend from the decks of Dorma, a
1923 Hillyard – thanks for the trip Steve!

I was charmed this week to find the story of Collar’s boatyard told by the Simply Whitstable website.

The yard remained for many years in he same family, and among their famous smacks are Rose and Ada, Gamecock and Emeline.

Simply Whitstable also has sections on sailing barges and on the town’s fishing industry, including material about the famous local oyster beds, spratting, whelking, various rescues – and tales of old boats.

For more on smacks generally, see the Sailing Smacks website and the Wikipedia.

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Ripples in a glassy sea, buoys leading far away – serene backgrounds for busy computers

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Sky reflected on seawater photographed by Gavin Atkin

Sky reflected on seawater photographed by Gavin Atkin

Sailing out of Oare Creek into the Swale yesterday my pal Jim and I had some splendid sailing during the morning, and then a glassy calm in the afternoon brought some striking light – so I pulled out my digital camera and took a few shots.

I hope these may appeal to some of you as potential wallpapers for your computers. If you’re a PC user, I think it should be possible to open the big image by clicking on the small photo, and then to set it as your desktop by pressing the right-hand mouse button, and then setting the picture to either centre, or to stretch. Good luck.

Buoys in the Swale photographed by Gavin Atkin

Buoys in the Swale, photographed by Gavin Atkin

A pleasant trip to Whitstable and Faversham

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Smack, late afternoon at Hollowshore

A smack, in the late afternoon light at Hollowshore

We took ourselves to Whitstable and Oare Creek just outside Faversham today to see and meet some Morris dancing friends, to mooch around Whitstable and to check on our little boat. As usual, I couldn’t stay out of the second-hand bookshops, and among other things found a copy of The Last Stronghold of Sail by Hervey Benham – a book I’ve been hoping to find for a while. It’s splendid stuff!

We also stopped by at Macnade’s amazing Faversham delicatessen and foodstore, and vowed never to miss an opportunity to buy provisions there, particularly if we’re setting off for a trip.

To celebrate both a nice day out after some weeks of rather hard work, and buying Benham’s book about the bygone world of working smacks and barges , I thought I should post the photo above taken this afternoon – a typical shot of a smack apparently waiting to take its turn in the dry dock at Hollowshore.