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History

Standard Quay, including Chambers Wharf, incorporates the site of one of Faversham’s 19th century shipyards where in the space of 40 years 25 Thames Barges were built as well as many smacks and cutters. It was only 30 years ago that the Quay itself was still being used for maritime trade with vessels coming up the Creek to service the SECOS oil depot and lighters for the Paul’s warehouses moored here. The Quay is now a busy site used for the mooring, preservation, rebuilding and maintenance of traditional vessels and Sailing Barges in particular.

The history of Standard Quay is tied closely to the history of Faversham Creek itself and its commercial fortunes have risen and fallen with those of the creek. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between the Creek and the town. When the Creek has been maintained the Town has thrived and vice versa. Throughout the history of the Creek there has been a constant struggle to keep the waterway useable to Standard Quay and beyond to the heart of the town, but that struggle has always paid off with benefits to the whole of Faversham. There are many excellent histories giving a more detailed history of the Creek and its various boatyards and boatbuilders, a good starting point for those interested is to visit the town website. (For a link see foot of page.)

Standard Quay (Faversham) Ltd was founded in 1993 with the aim of preserving Standard Quay’s importance as a link between the town and the sea. This was a time when facilities for large traditional vessels in London and other areas in the South East were becoming rapidly few and far between; most being lost to housing development. To have a Quay such as this in the heart of Faversham is of tremendous importance and yet at the time, 1993, Standard Quay was designated for use as a car park in the Borough Local Plan. Standard Quay (Faversham) Ltd was set up to try to ensure that the Quay would be used for its natural function: for marine related activities, notably traditional vessels.

For 17 years the company maintained and improved the workshops and the quayside and has been developing the facilities and access to skilled labour that is on the Quay today.

A long term aim of the Directors has been to establish training facilities for traditional marine skills. This was achieved last year with the establishment of a separate not-for-profit new company (Standard Quay Shipwrights Ltd,) specifically to teach shipwrighting apprentices the huge range of skills involved in the maintenance, building and repair of traditional vessels. (see Apprentices)

While the main aim of Standard Quay (Faversham) Ltd is to provide affordable moorings and facilities for resident and visiting vessels to arrange their own maintenance, there are a number of highly skilled craftsmen who work from the Quay itself.

For Creek History resources go to the Faversham Town website for a good summary and for the Faversham Society who have a wealth of research available and more links to explore on their website.


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