Maritime Heritage Centre

The former boatyards of Island Wall, the boat-builders, their skills, the craft they built, their trades, and other Whitstable craft.

Welcome to this new section of our on-line magazine. Your Charity is acquiring a great reputation for the quality of its work, starting with the rescue and restoration of the Gamecock, the establishment of the Coastal Trail, and now the creation of a Virtual Maritime Heritage Centre that will focus on our ‘Living Maritime Heritage’, on and off shore.

We hope that, over time, the Centre will be of interest to visitors, teachers, historians and the community. We shall engage with our many Partners and hope that you will wish to share your knowledge and experience. We shall always acknowledge the source of items and your contribution does not have to be perfect text as it will be edited. Please use the ‘Contact’ page of this website to get in touch with the Editor.


Money, Yawls and Oysters

Gamecock is one of the finest examples of her type, but why build a boat dedicated to a single purpose - the dredging of oysters? The answer is money.

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Stormy Petrel: on watch

Stormy Petrel (F71) was built in Whitstable as an Oyster Smack/Yawl in 1890 by Richard and Charles on Island Wall.


I-Spy – What can you see in this historical photograph?

Whitstable Community Museum are custodians of many historical photograph collected by Douglas West who moved to Whitstable in 1914.


Foundry’s Premium Gamecock Rum

In one of Canterbury's former foundry buildings, behind a black door large enough to take a horse and cart, there is now a traditional craft brewery producing fine whiskies.


The Gamecock Restoration – A Second Life

In Whitstable Harbour you can see local Volunteers restoring a 42-foot Yawl built in 1906 and now registered as a National Historic Ship.

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Craft Tools of the Cooper

Barrels and tubs were universal items in use for centuries, not only because they were convenient vessels for storage but also because they were easy to manoeuvre.