Until 2011, Standard Quay was a living piece of maritime history.
An ancient maritime site with shipbuilding tradition going back centuries, if not thousands of years, it was almost the last remaining UK boatyard with the expertise to rebuild and restore sailing barges and other wooden vessels.
When we learned it was likely to go the way of so many historic waterfront sites: lost forever to the relentless march of what cash-hungry property developers and local councils like to call ‘regeneration’, we decided to document what seemed almost certain to be its final 12 months. We felt it was a compelling and important story and worth a year of our lives. But we also wanted to understand, in some small way, why these things happen.
Along the way, we were banned from filming a heated public meeting chaired by Swale council, had a certain local councillor demanding editorial control of the film (we politely declined) and ran into trouble getting The Quay shown locally after ruffling a few well-connected feathers. We even heard of rumours spread (by persons unknown) that were were being paid by Standard Quay’s ship builders and owners to make the film. In fact, the project was funded entirely from our own pockets, a small training grant from Screen South and a hundred quid from a generous local well-wisher. Films don’t get much more independent (or low-budget).
However we couldn’t have made it without the help and encouragement of many, many people both in Faversham and outside the town, especially those involved with Standard Quay who allowed us to record what must have been an incredibly difficult year for them and their families.
In particular we would like to thank: Colin Frake, Brian Pain, Sue Cooper, Richard Hugh Perks, Tim Goldsack, Jon Henley, ‘Mac’ McCalden, Simon Grillet, David Castro at Screen South, The Cambria Trust, the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, Giacomo De Stefano, Mike Maloney, Griselda Mussett, Martin Ledner, Bennet Ledner, Andy Hill, Phil Orrell and Russ Brocklehurst. Apologies if we’ve left anyone out.
Please take a look at the movie trailer: