Plans for a second Harbour Day run by the charity Whitstable Maritime and Whitstable Harbour Board are well advanced with approximately 150 volunteers helping on the day and an anticipated attendance of 7,000. The date is Saturday 11th August.
The harbour will be packed with boats. Traditional barges, smacks and Old Gaffers will race offshore. Margate’s deep water lifeboat will be on display and visitors will be able to use the new pontoon to go aboard the 60ft. Border Force Maritime Command and the 55ft. Inshore Fisheries and Conservation coastal patrol boat. A local community radio station will be broadcasting a live programme from the event and a free 36-page souvenir programme is in preparation.
There will be a full day’s programme that includes bands, a children’s drama, a choir and fancy dress. Marine ecology, water pollution, plastics, coastal management and oyster farming are some of the themes of the 40 stalls that will be lining the quays. Ropework, creative marine art, and model boat building are among the activities being offered by stall-holders and the marine emergency services will be focusing on water safety. Several stalls will be inviting visitors to explore the town’s maritime heritage.
‘This event is fast becoming a significant maritime festival on the Kent coast’ said Gordon Vincent who is leading the planning team of volunteers. Gordon said he was humbled by the strong support from the resident traders, harbour staff, Councillors, and the organisations in Canterbury, Herne Bay, Faversham and Whitstable that are contributing to the event.
‘This is the third major project being undertaken by Whitstable Maritime,’ he added, ‘the other two being the restoration of Whitstable’s iconic oyster yawl, the Gamecock, and the creation of a coastal trail from Whitstable to Faversham. All our activities are designed to celebrate Whitstable’s connections with the sea, past, present and future. This appeals to families that have lived locally for generations as well as incoming residents and week-enders. As a young charity we welcome new volunteers and donors.