CA Kent Section: Talk by Jeremy Batch, Thu 12 March

Jeremy Batch is always good news. Next time you sail past the O2 “Dome” or fly over it on the cable-car, look to the opposite bank and you will see the site of the largest private dock in Europe, the birthplaces of the hydraulic crane and the modern lighthouse, the yards where “bad buoys were made good” and HMS Warrior was launched, and the wharf where Brunel’s first steamship had her engine installed. You will be passing the departure point of fleets [great and small] which set-up the first permanent English-speaking colony in the New World, established the most powerful multinational corporation that has ever existed, and towed the floating harbours that made the D-Day landings possible. Here the Cutty Sark unloaded tea and wool, and here many of her sisters were built. Come and find out more!

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association “Winter Warmer” talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm, before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

Royal Naval Sailing Association to be evicted from Chatham

RNSA members at the historic slipway. Photo Kent Online.

Despite the Royal Navy’s proud 400-year association with Chatham, the RNSA has been given its marching orders from its modest base at the Historic Dockyard to make way for yet another housing development. The Sea Cadets and Sea Scouts who share the slipway and shore facilities will also have to go.

Read more of this shocking story at Kent Online…

CA talk: Stephen Howarth on The Shetland Bus, Thurs 9 Jan

Shetland Bus.

Operations were conducted from Lunna House, Shetland by Stephen’s father, Lieutenant Howarth, who ran the Shetland end of the operation. The crews of the “Shetland Bus” [Shetlandsgjengen] were men of the coast, fishermen and sailors with detailed local knowledge. Most came over after the occupation, some with their own vessels, others with vessels that were “stolen” with the owner’s approval. They were young men, most of them in their twenties, some even younger. Many of them did several tours in the spring and summer of 1940, evacuating British soldiers who had been stranded in Norway after the Norwegian Campaign and other British citizens living in Norway.

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association winter warmer talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm, before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

Medway Queen Tour and Talk, Sat 28 Sept

Congregate at Gillingham Marina in the Quarterdeck Cafe 3.00pm for 3.15pm walk to the Medway Queen. Limited parking space available on Gillingham Pier for those that need them. Tour of the Medway Queen at 3.30pm, 5.00pm for 5:30pm Heroine of Dunkirk Talk and buffet! Tickets are £7 each. Tickets available by phoning Gillingham Marina on 01634 280022.

The extraordinary life and loves of John Oliver, Rochester Library, 9 Oct

John Oliver on the tug Hobbit.

An illustrated talk by Frances Beaumont about John Oliver who was a tug man on ‘Hobbit’ on the River Medway for 40 years. John was born without hands and two short arms and became very adept with his feet. Many people in Medway knew him – he was quite a character. He was also a trained artist with an NDD and had many other jobs. Booking is essential for this free event at Rochester Library, Eastgate, Rochester ME1 1EW on Wednesday 9 October from 2.30 to 4 pm. To book call 01634 337799.

Commissioning Ceremony of HMS Medway, Chatham, 19 Sept 2019

HMS Medway.

HMS Medway will be formally commissioned during a visit to Medway in September and Mr Russell Race JP DL, the link Deputy Lieutenant for Medway, will represent the Lord-Lieutenant at the event, to be held at Chatham on 19 September 2019 at 09.45. Following the Commissioning Ceremony, HMS Medway will provide the Royal Navy with patrol capabilities in home waters or overseas.

UPDATE: On Sunday 22 September, the ship will be open to visitors at Chatham Maritime from 10am to 4pm. No visitors will be admitted unless they have booked in advance. Visits can only be booked online and will be available via the website www.eventbrite.co.uk from Tuesday, 17 September. Read more at Kent Online…

Queenborough Classic Boat Festival, 31 Aug – 1 Sept

The 4th Classic Yacht & Motor Boat Festival is open to any boat, large or small, designed or built before 1970 – wood, steel, aluminium, fibreglass, ferro cement, sail, power, steam or other, the bigger the variety of boats the better the show. If in doubt as to whether your boat qualifies please email a photo and a short description. Without classic boats, we will not have a festival, so we are delighted to offer free berthing for up to 5 nights for qualifying vessels that register with us before 2 August 2019. If you have any info on how to make this classic boat event even better than the last 3 we would be grateful with any suggestions. You must register by email and have received a confirmation email to attend. To register your Classic Boat please email admin@queenborough-harbour.co.uk. For visitors (by foot) entry is FREE, the harbour will be open to the public to view the boats and meet the skippers. In addition, we plan to run passenger trips around the harbour and visit classic boats on their moorings. Last year almost 1000 people attended and the atmosphere was terrific.

  • Opening Times:
  • Friday 30th Most of the Classic Boats arrive in harbour
  • Sat 31st        Festival open 10am to 5pm
  • Sun 1st         Festival open 10am to 2pm

Big story of a little ship

Photo Old Gaffers Association

Good news for Hollowshore Cruising Club member Dr. Rodney Pell, whose book “Little Ship, Big Story” has been nominated for a Mountbatten Literary Award. It tells the history of Sheemaun, a 15-metre gentleman’s yacht built for banker Ernest Richards in 1935 in Fraserburgh. She is ketch rigged and currently has two Beta Marine Diesel engines. Researches by Dr. Pell led to the author discovering some of the amazing stories of those who over the past 85 years have variously owned, sailed or served on her in World War Two. In 1939, Sheemaun was assigned to the Thames Auxiliary Pool at Cliffe, on the Hoo Peninsula, and it is almost certain that she would have been engaged in clandestine duties. She had many adventures in the Thames and Medway Estuaries, and was present at the sinking of the explosives ship Richard Montgomery off Sheerness, parts of which can still be seen at low water. Sheemaun was sold out of service in 1947 and acquired by Rodney and Maura in 1987, and is now based at Ramsgate Harbour. She has featured in picture postcards, on a jigsaw puzzle, and in yachting magazine advertisements. Little Ship, Big Story is published by The Conrad Press at £9.99