Tuesday, 30 November 2010

end of the line for historic boatbuilding in Faversham?

This is Standard Quay in Faversham
It remains a working quay and home to historic craft particularly Thames sailing barges. The fabric of main wetherboarded building is listed for it's historic value, the grazing marsh around is protected as a RAMSAR site but the crafts and trades which have centuries of unbroken history are not recognised in the same way as being part of the heritage of the area so they have to compete in hard financial terms. The owners of the buildings are likely to make more money if they could evict the craftsmen and convert the buildings to luxury homes. That looks likely to happen in 2011 and the council appear to be supporting development.

So what crafts go on here? Boatbuilding including a scheme with 4 apprentices learning traditional techniques and a working blockmaker (I would be interested to know how many of those are left in the UK) The quay is one of only two yards left specialising in the repair and maintenance of Thames barges and is in continuous demand. Here is blockmaker Colin Frake and a link to his website

This short film is a trailer made on low budget by people who care passionately about the key
The Quay (trailer) from Richard Fleury on Vimeo.

learn more about the film project here. http://www.thequayfilm.net/?page_id=116
Learn more about the quay or get involved in the campaign to save it here. http://standardquay.com/ 

A very similar campaign has been highly successful at  Portland Works in Sheffield, there too the building was protected but not the wide range of craft skills going on inside, the landlord saw it only as a potentially lucrative development.

Around the world other countries are signed up to the UNESCO convention on intangible cultural heritage which recognises that heritage is more than just bricks and mortar, that living history of practices that have gone on in a place for centuries that are equally important parts of our heritage.

1 comment:

  1. I have posted this on my blog, thank you.