Whitstable Maritime

Celebrating our Coastal Communities

Whitstable Maritime was formed at a meeting of like-minded local people in the Horsebridge towards the end of 2014. It was registered as both a Charity (No. 1171563) and a Company Listed by Guarantee (No. 09017635).

Since then the Charity has focussed on four related objectives:

  • celebrating Whitstable’s maritime heritage
  • supporting the town’s coastal economic development
  • addressing marine environment issues
  • encouraging well-being

An early decision was to rescue the Gamecock but it was not until 2016 that the Board decided to undertake a restoration that met the criteria for a National Historic Ship (No. 2858).

Prior to the pandemic, for three successive years, the Charity managed a Harbour & Boat Show involving over 200 Volunteers. Attendance grew from 3,000 to over 10,000.

During the pandemic, the Charity published its popular Coastal Trail guide.

Whitstable Maritime


I hope this site reflects our continued focus on ‘celebrating our coastal connections’, a strap-line that was coined when the Charity was formed. So as well as rescuing and restoring Whitstable’s iconic oyster yawl, and conserving the associated craft skills, we have worked alongside other bodies to create Harbour & Boat Shows, and a 5K Coastal Trail. Now we are extending our interest to the littoral environment, marine art, and the former boatyards of Island Wall. One outcome will be an Education Enrichment programme. If you have skills or expertise in these areas, then please get in touch through the Contact page at the end of the website.

I am editing our website while watching the graceful way in which the Little Egret moves along the foreshore feeding in shallow water as the incoming tide races across the Swale. They are not a common site which is probably why they have been omitted from a delightful children’s introduction to our local sea birds recently produced by East Kent Bird Wise. This short guide is a colouring and activity book introducing about 12 of our most common species to young readers. Contact birdwise@thanet.gov.uk.

The Little Egret does feature on the simple, but authoritative, beginner's guide to Winter Coastal Birds which is an 8-sided folding laminated guide produced by the Field Studies Council in 2018. It is still in print and there is a Summer edition: see publications@field-studies-council.org. They can also be found in National Trust shops and some bookshops.

I would recommend both publications for use when walking along the Coastal Trail.

I hope other features on the website give you pleasure and encourage you to Volunteer or Donate! In the meantime, make sure you have reserved the evening of Thursday 18 July for the launch of the Gamecock Premium Rum at The Foundry in Canterbury (CT1 2NR): this is a ticketed event open to the public and we shall be announcing advance booking arrangements for our Supporters.

Thank you.



Whitstable Maritime Partnership 2024

We are grateful to our partners for their support in fair winds and calms.

Alan Staley Boatbuilders: for expert advice and Gamecock’s mast
Barton Marine Equipment: for marine supplies
Brett Aggregates: for use of East Quay
Canterbury City Council Harbour Board: for South Quay site and berth
Canterbury Brewers & Distillers: for creating a new Gamecock product
Fairly Marvellous: for technical support with our website
Goldfinch Trust: for financial assistance with restoring Gamecock
Icom UK Ltd: for marine radio and navigational equipment
Iron Wharf Boatyard: for providing a winter mud-berth
Juton Paints: for the supply of marine paints
National Historic Ships UK: for advice, publicity and support
Port of London Authority: for materials and technical support
SEAG8: for assistance with a marine engine
Shepherd Neame: for an annual donation
Timber Tasks: for sourcing specialist timber
Whitstable Improvement Trust: for purchase of timber
Whitstable Marine: for chandlery services
Whitstable Oyster Company: for acting as financier of last resort
Whitstable Photographic Company: for photography and photo-products
Wilkinson Sails: for technical advice and manufacture of sails

Thank you also to the following for their recent generosity (see Donate page of this website)
Andrew Provan
Lou Provan
Fiona Thomas
Michael Dixey
Ravi Sing-Ferma
Robert Dubery
Paul & Zoe Vincent
Peter Nicholls

The Gamecock Restoration - A Second Life

How many of us have the opportunity of extending our working life by 60/80 years?

Whitstable Coastal Trail

A unique 5km trail exploring Whitstable’s heritage and coastline.