Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Sun shone on the Nautical Festival again

Another wonderful weekend, with a creek full of boats and barges and steam tugs and pirates and the Brents and Town Quay full of music and all sorts of food.

The Mayor of Faversham Cllr Shiel Campbell opened with a short speech and then toured the Festival on both sides of the Creek. Later she took lunch at the Purifier, hosted by the Trust.

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Thirty guests came to the Faversham Creek Trust Charity Lunch to learn about the Trust and what it is doing for Faversham.
They were given guided tours and saw the two boats being built, one under the apprentice scheme run by Simon Grillet and the other in preparation for the Trust’s enterprising ‘Boat Camp’ project for young people run by Alan Thorne.
The lunch was held by the FCT as part of The Mayors’, Mrs Shiel Campbell, wonderful support for the Trust as her principal charity for the year. Also present was a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Barry Duffield.
The Chairman, Mrs Sue Akhurst, addressed the gathering emphasising the Trust’s objectives of conservation and regeneration of Faversham’s maritime heritage and the training and education of young people to give them skills, especially maritime and shipwrighting skills, to help them gain employment.
An excellent lunch was provided by Jenny Glenesk, Kim Barnicott very kindly donated the flowers and Peter Smith photographed the proceedings.

BOAT CAMP a new project

This is what we’re about and we think that you’ll be pleased to hear about our new project – Boat Camp! We’ve reached a stage where we can get local young people building boats!

Ten lucky students from Faversham’s Abbey School will take part in the BoatCamp fortnight to build 2 wooden rowing boats. 

The Boat Camp will be run in the Creek Trust’s Purifier Building during the holidays. The project is headed by Alan Thorne and his team – they recently trained local back-to-work groups to build a small fleet of mouse-boats and also the Kingfisher punt, now used to clear rubbish from Stonebridge Pond.

Here’s a line-up of the Creek Trust’s BoatCamp team: Linda Thomas, Trust chairman Sue Akhurst, boat-builder & course tutor Alan Thorne, James Rubinstein and Gulliver Imminck.  IMG_1320

However, the team need £8000 to run the course, and the Trust is now fundraising to pay for this course, and you can show your support by going to

This online donation website has been set up by Alan who completed the round-the-Isle-of-Wight sailing race at the weekend to help raise money for the BoatCamp. All the money raised from sponsoring him in that race will go towards the Boat Camp. He has successfully used this method in previous years to help finance sailing-training for disadvantaged young people.

We are of course also fundraising from other sources, and are happy to accept direct donations for this project. We are sure our members will want to help support this marvellous opportunity which exactly matches our objectives…. to train new shipwrights and get people more involved with the Creek.

This is an excellent starter project which has taken a long time to set up, working with the staff and students of the school, and the local shipwrights, and the boat designer – a New Zealander! Maybe in future we’ll have some home-grown boat-designers to help spread this idea round the world.

Please do give us your support. .

Conrad Broadley Talk at the Purifier Monday 25th


Conrad Broadley – Restoring Creeks along the Thames
Conrad will talk about the Northfleet, Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration

Read about his work here:


Music at the Purifier Friday 22nd April

Purifier Gig April




The Great Explosion 1916 – Film 7th March

The Great Explosion 1916
Film Show at The Fleur Hall on
Monday, 7th March 2016 at 2.00 p.m.
To commemorate the Centenary of the disaster at Uplees
With Mary Kemp to answer questions and talk about the explosion and its aftermath
(Mary had the original concept and researched the history for the film)
The Film Show will be free, with copies of the DVD available to buy, and an exit collection for St Mary of Charity Parish Church, Faversham, as requested by the makers and sponsors of the film.

An Historic Day in the Basin – 11th February 2016

On Thursday 11th February a small dredger entered the basin under its own power; she passed under the closed Bridge, and through the Gates. This was the first time a ‘commercial’ craft had entered the Basin since the 1989, when the last coaster delivered its cargo of fertiliser to Agrano. That may also have been the last time the Bridge opened.

Working in cooperation with Peel Ports, one Gate had been opened fully and one half way. That was enough to allow the small dredger into the Basin,  where its first task  is to remove the remaining mud behind them and reveal whatever is jamming one half open.   12705470_825172380926102_7537453603998995077_n 12715338_825169670926373_4400939250740297764_n 12670228_825168084259865_7526552734825178083_n 12744444_825168044259869_3655312138593523956_n 12743881_825167637593243_958912982993080789_n 12729096_825167307593276_5204784393198214351_n 12734238_826055390837801_6502550121331456386_n12729135_826002117509795_5654994385708929060_n12669687_826131687496838_7512141812299822414_n12717258_826002110843129_7152338877695914194_n

As the Bridge is condemned and can no longer open, the wheel house had to be removed so that the hull could be floated under the bridge; on a falling tide, to ensure that it would not be jammed under the bridge, but also not wishing to be stuck on the bottom, a tricky operation; and then the wheel house lifted on and controls reinstalled at Morrisons Wharf.

This small water injection dredger is privately owned and the brainchild of Eric Green and Bob Berk [now part owned by Trevor Ryan]. It was a private initiative response to the withholding of financial investment in the creek by Peel Ports, the Harbour Authority, due to lack of commercial traffic and economic return; this removed any imperative to dredge the creek.

The long term effect of this was the progressive silting up of the Creek generally, [Peel Ports did dredge in 2012], and particularly the Basin; as the sluicing shutters  have not been maintained, and the gates leak, so do not retain a head of water, then the sluicing process does not occur and that added to the silting at the upper end of the creek,

Stringent procedures were introduced in 2012, deferred to 2014, for licensing all dredging, so the Faversham Creek Navigation Company, was formed in 2014, as a Community Interest Company, to manage this; even so, whilst it must recover its expenses, the benefit is that these will be considerably less than a commercial dredging contractor, that would cost tens of thousands of pounds more.

The Navigation Co has licenses for the Creek and the Basin. The former was issued by Peel Ports after lengthy discussions when it was recognised that unless the licence was issued to a single organisation, then every individual owner of creekside property who has the responsibility for their section of the creek, would have to go through the same application process. This licence is known as a Maintenance Dredging licence, and is limited to 1500 cubic metres a year.

The licence for the Basin, known as a Capital Dredging Licence is a much more detailed application involving the Marine Management Organisation [MMO] and the Environment Agency [EA] and specialised reports from an Environmental Consultant, and an Ecologist, drawings from a Civil  Engineer, and the laboratory testing of mud samples; it took 16 months to obtain, and cost almost £20,000. We are grateful to Swale Borough Council who agreed to fund this, on top of their contribution towards the Swing Bridge.

The work will be carried out over the next two years, and should be completed by the time the Swing Bridge is opened in 2018. Due to the conditions of the licence, the current work will cease at the end of March and restart in September. More details of the work will be published in due course.

It is a major achievement to access the Basin and make a start on its restoration; we hope that Faversham will continue to support us over the next two years and enjoy watching the progress.