Sunday, September 06, 2009

Whitstable Harbour Day 2009

The historic fishing town of Whitstable on the North Kent coast is well worth a visit at any time of year but particularly when it holds it's annual Harbour Day.

Whitstable's harbour dates back to 1832 when it was opened by the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway Company.

Having attended and enjoyed the Harbour Day very much last year, we decided to go again this year when it took place on 22nd August.

Perhaps due to the current economic downturn, the level of attendence seemed to be lower than last year, despite the fact that the event is free.

The weather was glorious and the organisers had again put on another good show.

Various trade and charity stands were set up around the harbour, the lifeboat station was opened to the public and visitors were able to tour the Isle of Man registered coastal ship Union Pluto to get an idea of what on-board life is like for her multi-national crew.

In the course of my day job I have been on-board many similar vessels (at all times of the day and night!) but it was nice to have the opportunity to show my wife and son around.

The Union Pluto had discharged a cargo of stone chippings which are used in the manufacture of tarmacadam.

Here are a few more pictures taken on-board the ship.

The ship's bridge was a bit cosy to say the least!

The funnel. UT stands for the owners of the ship - Union Transport.

The ship has it's own excavator on deck to allow it to "self discharge"

View from tbe bridge looking over the ship's stern towards the harbour entrance.

Apart from the Union Pluto there were two historic vessels visiting the harbour.

The tug Kent which has been carefully restored by volunteers from the South Eastern Tug Society was built in Lowestoft in 1948 and spent most of her long working life on the River Medway with J P Knight & Sons.

The paddle steamer Kingswear Castle was built in Dartmouth, Devon in 1924 and worked on the River Dart for many years before arriving in the River Medway for preservation. She now provides excursions mainly around the Rivers Medway and Thames.

Apart from the ships, other entertainments included the Whitsable giant, miniature steam train rides aboard the "Springbok"and a display of vintage diving equipment.

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