Helping to restore Gravesend's maritime heritage

By Conrad Broadley, River Regeneration Champion at Gravesham Borough Council.

Gravesend is a historic riverside town and it is a particular passion of mine to restore some of its heritage in this respect at the waterfront. There is a great opportunity for Gravesend to show itself off once again as a maritime town.

Through my work with the Northfleet Harbour Restoration Trust I maintain close links to the maritime traditions and interest groups. So this year we had the magnificent sight of the historic ship Decima moored in Gravesend. The Decima is a Thames Sailing Barge built in 1899, she is 85ft long, 19ft 6inches wide and weighs 70 odd tons, she is on the historic ships register.

There is a long list of historic ships waiting to visit, so if this is achieved, it will add to Gravesend’s cache as a leisure destination. Therefore I am lobbying hard to make Clarendon Wharves and more of Gravesend’s frontage accessible for historic ships of the kind that have graced it with their presence in the past. I look forward to seeing a real commitment from Gravesham Council to work on my early successes along St Andrews Quay and getting the Town Pier to be historic ship friendly.