4 June 2012
Our official movie trailer for The Quay. And please take a look at The Quay’s Facebook page for more news and updates.
1 June 2012
Sadly, Standard Quay’s days as a working boatyard appear to be over. The last remaining traditional shipwright, Tim Goldsack, has moved his business elsewhere and Swale’s developer-friendly councillors have been presented with plans to turn the quayside into a combined housing/shopping/restaurant experience.
It’s no consolation to those affected and those trying to save Faversham’s centuries-old boat-building traditions but Standard Quay’s story will now reach a wider audience with a short (15-minute) version of The Quay about to be screened at two leading film festivals: Rushes Soho Shorts and Sheffield Doc/Fest‘s Videotheque
We would like to screen it locally too, if possible. So if anyone can suggest a Faversham venue that isn’t afraid of upsetting Swale Borough Council, please let us know via our contact form.
A documentary charting the final year of shipbuilding at Faversham’s historic Standard Quay is to be screened at two prestigious film festivals this summer.
The Quay, produced and directed by Faversham-based journalist and filmmaker Richard Fleury, will be screened at the Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Videotheque in June and has been officially selected for the Rushes Soho Shorts festival in London in July.
Richard, based at Creek Creative studios in Abbey Street, filmed at Standard Quay over the course of year to make the 15-minute short film. Independent and largely self-financed (with the generous exception of a training bursary from Screen South), The Quay was his first documentary project.
Shot on a low budget using the new generation of small, affordable digital HD cameras, The Quay documents Standard Quay’s demise as a working shipyard despite a popular campaign to save its traditional skills.
Until recently Faversham’s Standard Quay was an important centre for the repair and rebuilding of Thames Sailing Barges. But with its last shipwright gone and developer owners planning to convert the quayside into housing, shops and restaurants, the film captures the end of an era.
A DVD release and local screenings are planned for later in the year.
“The Quay is my first documentary, so it’s great to be recognized by two such influential UK-based film festivals. I hope it helps bring the film to a wider audience.”
“Standard Quay’s shipbuilding tradition was a long and proud one. My film tries to explain why it came to an end.
“The Quay’s story is a sad one, unfortunately, but not unusual. It seems traditional industries are often killed off not by a lack of demand but by a lack of democracy. Perhaps if planners represented the views of local people instead of the interests of developers, our heritage might be in safer hands.”
6 June 2011
After an encouraging local test screening last week, I’ve decided to make a one hour rough edit of the The Quay available online. It’s not the finished documentary – we’re still shooting – but I hope it will help people understand why Standard Quay as we know it will be gone in just a few weeks time. Please take a look…and spread the word.
The end is approaching rapidly for many of those who have built their working lives around Standard Quay. Meanwhile Swale Borough Council is seeking public opinions on its latest consultant’s report which recommends:
1. Allowing developers to turn quay buildings currently occupied by maritime industries to be turned into shops, restaurants and potentially housing.
2. Downgrading flood designation to make Creekside land more attractive to developers.
3. Ruling out the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order to put quayside land into community or trust ownership.
4. Writing off any chance of reopening the creek sluice gates and making the Creek Basin accessible for large vessels.
If you disagree with these proposals, please write to Swale Borough Council and express your views BEFORE THE 24 JUNE DEADLINE (Coincidentally, this is also the day many of the quay’s maritime businesses leave the site).
More information HERE.
25 March 2011
The Quay film is to receive its first outside funding, in the form of a training grant from Screen South, the film and media agency for the South East of England.
Until now the project has been entirely self-funded, so we’re very grateful for this financial support which will help pay for video editing training at London’s prestigious Frontline Club, founded by Vaughan Smith to champion independent journalism.
A Lottery distributor, Screen South exists to help people get their ideas off the ground, promote talent, preserve our film heritage and find ways of presenting exciting film to new audiences. Many thanks to David Castro, the agency’s Head of Development and Training.
24 March 2011
Phil Latham was the Sailing Barge Cambria’s mate from 1964-68, working for the famous skipper, folk singer and author Bob Roberts.
He lives in France now but came to Faversham’s Iron Wharf this week to see the reborn barge as a guest of the Cambria Trust‘s William Collard.
Phil was kind enough to spare some time to talk on camera about his years aboard the last British vessel to carry cargo under sail, so we thought we should share the clips with you. Please excuse the rough editing and sound; shipwrights were busy working on the deck behind Phil as he spoke. If all goes to plan, Cambria will return to Standard Quay complete with masts, spars and rigging in around three weeks’ time.
Many thanks to both Phil and William Collard. To see more video of the Cambria being launched after 14 years out of the water, take a look at Gavin Atkins’ In The Boat Shed blog.
23 March 2011
You don’t get many glorious Summer’s days in March. But Monday was a special day for Faversham. And a proud one for Faversham’s shipwrights and apprentices who launched the wooden ship they spent three years building with their own hands. On the high tide, they pulled Sailing Barge Cambria gently out of its flooded dry dock to cheers and applause.
Even the uncertainty over the quay’s future couldn’t diminish the occasion. It was a good day. There were no hamburger stands, no gift shops or tourist sideshows, just some sunshine, some bunting and 500 people (including the whole of Ethelbert Road Primary School), who came to celebrate something unique to Faversham. It was like stepping back into the 19th century, when the town turned out to see Goldfinch’s vessels launched at Standard Quay.
Thanks to the skills and support of Standard Quay, the Cambria will still be sailing in a hundred years time. It would be nice to think the councillors who came to see the launch will make sure she won’t be the last ship rebuilt at Standard Quay.
We’ve posted our video for anyone unable to see the launch with their own eyes. It’s a little rough around the edges and apologies for the sound quality; we haven’t had time to edit or mix it properly. We’re not sure how much will make it into the final cut of The Quay but hope you enjoy it anyway.
The last word goes to Faversham’s maritime historian Richard-Hugh Perks, who stood on the creek bank when the crowds had gone and said: “I never thought I would see this day. What a wonderful thing to have done here…”
Guardian feature writer Jon Henley spent a day at Standard Quay earlier this week talking to Faversham’s maritime craftsmen who, as things stand, will be gone by July 2011. His piece on the Quay will be published in the next few weeks. We will link to it once it appears on the Guardian’s website. Many thanks to Jon and The Guardian for their interest.