Tuesday 22nd April – Traditional Vessels of Faversham Creek

A Talk by Hugh Perks

Author and Maritime Historian,

 on the 

Traditional Vessels of Faversham Creek

Tuesday 22nd March 2.30 – 4.30
Fleur Hall, behind Faversham Society in Gatefield Lane

Tea and cake too!
Also learn more about the Creek and its future, and give us your ideas?

 

The Present and the Future for Creek and Town

This film is a taster for a new film being produced by Mike Maloney.

This is what it is all about for this Trust, for the future of the Creek and the Town.

Mike’s other work, such as the famous ‘A Sideways Launch’, can be seen at;

http://www.cwideprods.co.uk/productions/

I make no apologies for also reproducing an updated, related, editorial here,  from last June after Alan Staley, Boatbuilder at Chambers Wharf, won the Craft Skills Award for ‘Encouraging Craft Skills in the Workplace, from the same organisation [Heritage Crafts Assoc.] that awarded Sixer his  for volunteering.

Go to: http://ccskills.org.uk/news/story/craft-skills-awards-winners-announced, and watch the video, Alan and his staff star at 3minutes along.

It is interesting to summarise the recent past, the current, and the developing crafts and skills presence on the Creek;

Ironwharf supports several self-employed boatbuilders, and a Chandlery, and accommodates large craft, including Thames Barges, alongside the Quay and in their floating dock for repair. It is a rare reasonably priced onshore store for dozens of craft, where owners can repair and maintain them.

Chambers Wharf is Alan Staley, Boatbuilder, with a slip and moorings for small to medium sized craft, and a history of successful projects; famously quoted above, on UNDINA for Griff Rhys Jones.

Standard Quay, over a period of 18 years, up to 2011, supported up to 10 craftsmen, and many others, several of whom were highly respected Shipwrights, and included a nascent apprentice scheme, a Block Maker, a complete £m1.4 restoration of a historic craft, but more importantly, developed by a knowledgeable, co-operative and supportive management style and with resources that attracted large traditional craft to the Quay, for berthing, maintenance and restoration.

Swan Quay has been the home of the Sail Maker, Wilkinson Sails, for several years, where they have trained young sailmakers,.

Faversham Creek Trust is developing a maritime trades centre at the Purifier, with a specific mandate to develop the training of Apprentice Shipwrights; it is also home for two craftsmen; one displaced by a developer from Standard quay.

Another important near-creek success story is Creek Creative, maybe not maritime, but certainly craft and small business oriented and supportive.

And yet, some still argue that because there is a lack of maritime businesses rushing to take up the available spaces on the Creek now, the only viable way forward is for these spaces to be given over to speculators and developers of upmarket exclusive housing, or to convert the simple quayside workshops and storage sheds in to bijou restaurants, or worse, museums of the maritime glory already forced away.

These are the same people who flatly refuse to investigate any alternative economic case, and have failed to consider intelligently, a major  positive economic report freely presented to them, because it told them something that they did not want to hear.

They are wrong, of course; if we ignore the history of success above, by failing to build on it and create the waterside space needed for its future, then we must all carry the blame in the years to come. What is needed now for the success of that future, is the time to develop small businesses, supported by an infrastructure of affordable space and a network of complementary crafts and businesses.

That is sustainability. That is what the Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development quoted in the National Planning Policy Framework is all about. It is certainly not about banging up a few more houses on every available tired industrial site, extracting some small penalty, or is it a bribe, ostensibly for the benefit of the community, which will disappear into some distant pot.

Amongst the site owners, are long standing businesses that have prospered in Faversham, but who, due to changes in the commercial opportunities, have been left with sites that need regeneration; they are not developers themselves, and generally have been in no hurry to sell off to speculators.

It is to these owners that we should turn, in humility, ask them to remember when and how they started, and ask for their support for the future of the Creek as a thriving busy waterway, with relevant businesses, and community areas. That is the compromise that we seek. They should be reminded that the case for developing maritime businesses on the creek has been researched and proven.

Morrisons took the risk when they agreed to give the Purifier to this Trust, a six month old and unknown group then, but with an interesting proposition about the maritime future of the Creek and training of shipwright apprentices. It took two years for the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to accept the Trust as a representative body with a significant membership.

As Arthur Percival reminds us, Henry Hatch gave his fortune to the benefit of the Town, and the Creek - not a Street. Surely Henry would approve of the development of the Creek and Creekside for the sustainable benefit of maritime trade and employment.

R Telford, Editor.

Revised Articles of Association and New By-laws

A revised set of Articles of Association and a new set of By-Laws were adopted by the Board of Trustee/Directors on the 18th March. The revisions to the Articles are minor and technical.

The new By-Laws formally establish the different classes of membership of the Trust, the duration of membership and the determination of membership fees.

These may be viewed under MORE PAGES.

 

Good Reason to go to the Council Meeting Monday 7th

At its meeting on 25 March, the steering group voted to approve a first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan which, for a small number of sites (Ordnance Wharf, the Oil Depot and the Coach Depot) included alternative options – either predominantly housing, as proposed by the respective landowners/developers and supported by the steering group majority, or industrial/training/community use as proposed in the Business Case and by the Faversham Creek Trust and the Brents Community Association, in line with feedback from previous consultations. Discussion of alternative options for Swan Quay was deferred until the following meeting on 1 April.

At the April 1 meeting, diverging from the published agenda, steering group member Andrew Osborne proposed, seconded by Councillor Mike Cosgrove, that all decisions to include alternative options for site uses should be overturned. Votes were taken site-by-site and all alternatives were deleted except for Ordnance Wharf.

Mr Osborne said it would be open to anyone to put forward alternative proposals during the consultation process.

The revised draft of the Neighbourhood Plan will be put before Faversham Town Council for approval at its next meeting on Monday 7 April. There will be an opportunity for questions from the public before the meeting.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ASK WHY THEY WENT THROUGH THE 25 MARCH CHARADE AND WHAT POSSIBILITY IS THERE OF ALTERNATIVES TO THE DRAFT PLAN BEING ACCEPTED AT THE NEXT CONSULTATION, GIVEN THE VOTING RECORD OF THE STEERING GROUP.

and now the film…

SIX at the HCA Awards……

with thanks to Michael Maloney.

SIXER the BEST

Sixer wins Royal approval for his role in a ‘vital’ industry.

LtoR - Phill Harding, Nick Carter and Sixer Boorman

L to R: Phil Harding from TVs Time Team, Nick Carter of MCT and Sixer Boorman of FCT

When the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) approached Prince Charles for his support in setting up an organisation to support the hundreds of thousands of individuals around Britain who work in and support the craft industry, they were overcome by his passionate response. Not only did he enthusiastically offer his support and become their active President, but he personally added the word “vital” to this endorsement of the Craft Awards, one of which has been deservedly won by Faversham Creek Trust’s Brian “Sixer” Boorman:

“As President of the Heritage Crafts Association, I am delighted to endorse this new awards scheme which supports and rewards excellence in the heritage craft sector.

Crafts are such a vital part of our British heritage and I have always been passionately concerned to promote the best aspects of our country’s traditions ― and, equally importantly, to enable these highly specialised skills to be transferred from one generation to the next.

These new awards for heritage craft celebrate excellence across the sector in a variety of ways. They reward those who give so much by volunteering to support the many different crafts, those who pass on their skills, those who wish to improve their craft skills and those who continue to produce great British craft.”

The awards are made by the HCA in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust, a grant making body committed to grassroots recognition.

Sixer was nominated as the ‘main man’ in the Creek Trust’s team of volunteers in recognition not only of his leading role in the restoration of the Purifier building, working for well over 2000 hours voluntarily doing both skilled and manual work, but also for his countless hours helping organise very popular fund raising events, most notably the annual barn dance.

Sixer says: “I really believe in the Creek. It’s the heart of the town in every way. It’s not dead and it’s not obsolete. It was a real eye opener at the Carpenters Hall, to see all of the young people getting awards for their enthusiasm for real skills, real crafts. We’ve got such a lot to offer young people in Faversham and I just wish that the people who are so dead set against giving the young people of this town a proper chance of real local skilled employment could see what could be done. You can only do so much with volunteers, but there is such a brilliant team at the Purifier, they’ve worked miracles and I am really proud to have had the chance to work with them all. Although I was the one nominated, it was really an award for all of them.”

As Chris Wright, Chairman of the Trust says: “It is the training in traditional maritime skills in both wood and metal gained by Sixer as an apprentice of the Brents Shipyard, which have made him such an incredible asset to the building restoration work. That and his tireless enthusiasm!”.

Sixer has donated his £500 prize money to the continuing work in the Purifier.

This is not the first time Faversham has been nationally recognised in the Craft Industry. Alan Staley, Boatbuilder, shook hands and had a ten minute conversation with Prince Charles when he personally awarded Alan with the Maker of the Year award on the same occasion last year.
Faversham is known in high places for its expertise and enthusiasm in traditional crafts and associated industries.

Sixer was also runner up to John Burden, for the Swale Volunteer Awards, which was a good choice as John has been dedicating his time to the Faversham Sea Cadets, also Creek based, for over half a century.

Creek Plan Steering Group Tues 25th March

The Neighbourhood Plan steering group will consider the first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan at a meeting on TUESDAY 25 MARCH, at 7:00pm in the Guildhall.

When completed, this will be the “pre-submission” draft, which is scheduled to go out to public consultation in the early summer.

The document which the steering group will be reviewing is in two sections, which can be seen on the Neighbourhood Plan website: general policies and individual sites. (The finished version will have photographs and maps which are not yet available, and there will be a second document containing background information for reference.)

The red/green colours in the document indicate where alternative options have been proposed, or text which might or might not be included. It will be for the steering group to decide whether a choice of options will be included in the draft that goes out to consultation.