The Historic Dockyard. Chatham

Phill
29th October 2005, 20:42
A lot of hard work has been going on at Chatham. With the continuing restoration of the three ships HMS Cavalier, HMS Ocelot, and the sloop 1878 built HMS Gannet of which has been magnificently restored, well worth a visit in it self,

lifeboat a collection of 17 or more RNLI Boats in an excellent condition

With many exhibits on display, the walk through wooden walls, the working ropery, and many Georgian buildings, plus a chance for a trip on the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle and also the chance to see the many vessels using the Medway.

Its well worth checking out the many events they have over the year.

There is loads of history here with a lot of work being put in to create an excellent Museum.

Well worth a visit and well worth checking there site

Phill

Doug Rogers
29th October 2005, 23:33
Its already on my list for our next visit to UK..had hoped to go earlier this year when we were over..but time ran out!!.

Bob S
30th October 2005, 13:59
I agree, it's a great place to visit. They started to hold Navy Days there again but this has not happened for a couple of years which is a shame because it made the visit even more interesting.

Phill
30th October 2005, 18:35
The August Bank Holiday weekend Medway Maritime Festival seems to have replaced the navy days, Chatham put up a reasonable display, no navy but plenty to do and with plenty of activity on the Medway,
I forgot to mention they have there own brewery, Very nice stuff, (Flagship brewery)
I recently posted some Photos in my gallery

Phill

Hendo!
20th November 2005, 11:44
I was last there around 1993-4, a very interesting place to visit.

I was looking through some old photos recently and I came across what appeared to be a submarine made from oil drums, and a small paddle boat called Monarch.

If I get access to a scanner I'll post them somewhere.

Phill
21st November 2005, 18:27
what do you mean Corned beef curry?! .............they have done a lot since 93.94..............................they are even asking for help

Cheers PHILL (Thumb)


I was last there around 1993-4, a very interesting place to visit.

I was looking through some old photos recently and I came across what appeared to be a submarine made from oil drums, and a small paddle boat called Monarch.

If I get access to a scanner I'll post them somewhere.

Hendo!
21st November 2005, 20:45
what do you mean Corned beef curry?!

We once had a cook I sailed with who when making a Beef Curry ran out of beef, so out came the tin of corned beef thinking we wouldn't notice...

Somehow that stuck in my mind when it came to choosing a sig.

edit - I have since changed my sig.

Doug Rogers
22nd November 2005, 01:54
We used to eat it quite regularly as a curry, but it was normally entitled dry curry, properly prepared (believe the secret was actually to steep it in vinegar for a while and then add the respective spices until it did become "dry") it wasnt a bad dish!!.

Hendo!
16th December 2005, 20:46
I have posted some photos in my Gallery, it's not much, but there you go.

benjidog
16th December 2005, 23:38
I visited an area which I am sure was adjacent to the Chatham dockyard 40-odd years ago (trespassed would probably be a more accurate description!). I recall getting in by climbing over a wall in a car park but would be hard pressed to find it again now. There were numerous buildings and tunnels in a derelict state. In one part there was a narrow ravine with a large cave or excavation at the top with very tall doors closing the entrance off - a path led downhill from it. The whole place was deserted and very creepy; it had the same feel about it as the tower in Lincoln Castle where they used to bury the bodies of people who had been executed - anyone who has been there will know what I mean.

I could only take a peek as I didn't have any lighting with me - I was into potholing at the time and would have loved to explore. I believe the structures dated back to the Napoleonic era. I have often wondered if they are still there - maybe you can even visit legitimately nowadays?

Benjidog

Doug Rogers
17th December 2005, 00:33
Well you have to remember when they say Historic Chatham Dockyard they really do mean HISTORIC!!...it covered a vast area over the years and really does go back into antiquity...you probably got into one of the older areas, probably lucky to ever get out!!.

Iceberg
17th December 2005, 19:41
Their website is http://www.chdt.org.uk/NetsiteCMS.php

and Google Earth has high resolution images, maybe Benjidog can find familiar places.

Phill
1st January 2006, 14:02
I visited an area which I am sure was adjacent to the Chatham dockyard 40-odd years ago (trespassed would probably be a more accurate description!). I recall getting in by climbing over a wall in a car park but would be hard pressed to find it again now. There were numerous buildings and tunnels in a derelict state. In one part there was a narrow ravine with a large cave or excavation at the top with very tall doors closing the entrance off - a path led downhill from it. The whole place was deserted and very creepy; it had the same feel about it as the tower in Lincoln Castle where they used to bury the bodies of people who had been executed - anyone who has been there will know what I mean.

I could only take a peek as I didn't have any lighting with me - I was into potholing at the time and would have loved to explore. I believe the structures dated back to the Napoleonic era. I have often wondered if they are still there - maybe you can even visit legitimately nowadays?

Benjidog I'VE GOT AN IDEA, you might just be talking about Fort Amhurst http://www.fortamherst.com/

all the best
Phill

benjidog
1st January 2006, 16:30
Phill,

Thank you - this is definitely the place I saw all those years ago! (Applause)

Since Iceberg suggested it, I have been looking closely at this actual area with Google earth as it seemed to be in the right place. But looking down from a satellite you can't see much in the way of the height or depth of ground features.

It seems that Fort Amherst was not so much a part of the dockyard as part of its defences. It sounds like they have opened up some of the tunnels to the public. I will certainly look the place up when I get a chance to go down there - I won't even begrudge the admittance charge this time round (LOL)

When I "visited" I was staying with a friend who lived in Strood on the other side of the river from Chatham. He told me that the area is honeycombed with old tunnels in the chalk (Fort Amherst was constructed in this way). Periodically one of tunnels would cave in - he said from time to time people had disappeared into holes that opened in the ground, and whole house gardens had vanished and houses subsided!

Phill
1st January 2006, 19:34
Phill,

Thank you - this is definitely the place I saw all those years ago! (Applause)

Since Iceberg suggested it, I have been looking closely at this actual area with Google earth as it seemed to be in the right place. But looking down from a satellite you can't see much in the way of the height or depth of ground features.

It seems that Fort Amherst was not so much a part of the dockyard as part of its defences. It sounds like they have opened up some of the tunnels to the public. I will certainly look the place up when I get a chance to go down there - I won't even begrudge the admittance charge this time round (LOL)

When I "visited" I was staying with a friend who lived in Strood on the other side of the river from Chatham. He told me that the area is honeycombed with old tunnels in the chalk (Fort Amherst was constructed in this way). Periodically one of tunnels would cave in - he said from time to time people had disappeared into holes that opened in the ground, and whole house gardens had vanished and houses subsided! makes a change for me to get somthing right, Have a nice one
Phill (Thumb)

Phill
30th October 2006, 21:56
Good news for Chatham,
A ground breaking new museum project involving a partnership between the National Maritime Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the Science Museum and Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, has received substantial support from Heritage Lottery Fund in the form of a £4.97m grant.

http://www.chdt.org.uk/NetsiteCMS/pageid/604/newsarticleid/141/news/news.html (http://www.chdt.org.uk/NetsiteCMS/pageid/604/newsarticleid/141/news/news.html)

gus warner
1st November 2006, 02:24
After the '53 floods I came home and my father offered me a job working on heightening the sea wall around the 'Yard. He was the 'ganger' and I worked with him shoveling concrete all day into the shuttering. The next morning I was stiffer than those old corpses on Dead Man's Island down at the mouth of the Medway. Doing the same work the second day soon loosened me up and after three weeks I went back to sea much fitter. A couple of years later I did a month in the Rigging Loft brushing up on wire splicing, this was a great experience and it was great to work in the same place my Grandfather had worked for years after he gave up the sea. Chatham Dockyard saw the building of many great ships and many famous sailors shipped out of there. I believe the "Great Harry" Englands first battleship was built there.

Phill
1st November 2006, 18:22
if its Henry the 8ths HMS Grace Dieu nick named Great Harry she was built at Woolwich launched 1511,,,,,HMS Victory was built at Chatham

Phill

Alistair
24th January 2007, 07:51
As someone who lives in Chatham, I am being a bit bias but if anyone visits down here I strongly reccomend them to pay a visit.
I know some people moan about the admission fee, But i think it is worth it.
As regards to the Navy Days, I spoke to my Sister in law who works at Medway Council and as yet there are no future plans for any more.
The last one was organised by them but have to say not as good as they used to be when it was still an active Navy Port.

Phill
25th January 2007, 10:16
I still have the program for the Last? RN Navy Days Chatham 1979,
The ships on display were, as program in No 3 basin
HMS Blake
HMS Scylla
HMS Eskimo
HMS Endurance
Inshore Survey Squadron vessels
RFA Grey Rover
HMS Triumph (mothballed)
Dutch and Belgian navy’s vessels

Phill

In no2 basin plenty of vessels of the reserve ships unit, in moth balled state.

In the fields were many displays, especially helicopters, wasp’s Lynx and Sea King buzzing around,

Somewhere I have a box of slides of the two days, somewhere??????????

Sadly all gone now apart from Grey Rover awaiting her fate (stick her in Chatham)

BUT Chatham is still alive and is well worth the visit, and improving.

Phill

Alistair
26th January 2007, 08:45
Phill,
Did you get one of the Programs that were printed for the 1982 navy Day which was cancelled due to a certain little skirmish in the South Atlantic.
My father in law got hold of one as they had all been printed prior.

Phill
26th January 2007, 22:42
Was there a 1982 Chatham Navy Day, Portsmouth had open Days in 82 of which was a full program, on display were captured Argentine war remnants,

Phill

matey1960
21st August 2008, 17:20
[QUOTE=benjidog;27807]Phill,

Thank you - this is definitely the place I saw all those years ago! (Applause)

Since Iceberg suggested it, I have been looking closely at this actual area with Google earth as it seemed to be in the right place. But looking down from a satellite you can't see much in the way of the height or depth of ground features.

It seems that Fort Amherst was not so much a part of the dockyard as part of its defences. It sounds like they have opened up some of the tunnels to the public. I will certainly look the place up when I get a chance to go down there - I won't even begrudge the admittance charge this time round (LOL)

When I "visited" I was staying with a friend who lived in Strood on the other side of the river from Chatham. He told me that the area is honeycombed with old tunnels in the chalk (Fort Amherst was constructed in this way). QUOTE]

Fort Amherst (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Amherst) was part of the ring of Napoleonic forts that defended Chatham & the Dockyard from imminent attack from the French. The forts were Fort Amherst, Fort Pitt, Fort Delce and Fort Clarence. There was also the 'Great Lines' which was a man made mound that still exists overshadowing Chatham with the RN war memorial on the top. French prisoners of war (who were imprisoned on hulks off Chatham Dockyard) dug the tunnels. The models of the ships that they made from animal bones which they traded for food are still in the Guildhall Museum, Rochester. The area round Fort Amherst is still riddled with barrier ditches and redoubts - one of the barrier ditches went through the middle of Brompton Barracks and down to Gillingham Gate (Chatham Dockyard). I used to play in the tunnels at Fort Pitt before Medway Art College was built there in 1967. I could bore you with more stories but I won't lol....but the Lime Pit is worth a look (Thumb) Jo

matey1960
21st August 2008, 17:38
I was working at BBC Radio Medway (now BBC Kent) when Tony Revitt did the broadcast from Chatham Dockyard as it closed and HMS Hermione was leaving. We all stood in the News Room and I can tell you that there wasn't a dry eye in the house....it was the saddest day Chatham ever had. http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/news/features/chatham/index.shtml - click on the link and go to Listen. Tony was ex Navy and there couldn't have been a better reporter for the job.
Jo