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Kent Shipbuilding Conference

07 Nov - 08 Nov 2024

Separately Ticketed

Kent Shipbuilding Conference is jointly organised by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and Kent Archaeological Society to mark the 40th anniversary of the closure of the dockyard and to highlight Kent’s rich ship and boat building heritage.

From the Dover Bronze Age Boat through to the construction of vessels during the Second World War in Faversham the conference offers 2 days of fascinating talks and insight into the vessels, people and towns involved.

There will also be a chance to hear more about contemporary restoration work and to talk to people involved in research, restoration and heritage projects.


Tickets are available to book online, either as a single day (Thursday or Friday) or you can save a few pounds by booking a 2-day ticket.

The conference fee includes tea, coffee & pastries on arrival and a sandwich buffet lunch.

The fee also includes entrance to the wider Historic Dockyard site, galleries, exhibitions and tours.

1 Day ticket (Thursday or Friday)


2 day ticket (thursday & Friday)


Conference programme

Please see below the outline programme for the conference.

The full programme will be confirmed shortly. Programme is subject to change.

Day One

Thursday 7 November


Welcome & Keynote

Richard Morsley, CEO Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust


Session 1

Restoration and Replica

Dover Bronze Age Boat – Paul Bennett

The Whitstable Oyster Yawl Gamecock: Past, Present and Future – Gordon Vincent


Session 2

Ship Archaeology
(Chair – Catherine Holt)

Uncovering the Mysteries of the Sandwich Bay wooden wrecks – Peta Knott

The Graveney Boat – Damian Goodburn


Session 3

(Chair – Vanessa Sanderson)

The Shipwrights of Deptford Dockyard – Brian Lavery

Shipbuilding, labour and politics in Kent yards since 1700 – David Killingray

The Austins – Shipwrights and Barge Builders – Sarah Austin



Day 2

Friday 8 November


Session 1

Shipbuilding during wartime
(Chair – Martin Crowther)

Shipbuilding at Richborough Port during the First World War – Colin Varrall

James Pollock, Faversham; Making the Best of It – Henry Cleary


Session 2

Resources and research
(Chair – Emma Ovenden)

Ship and Boatbuilding at Gravesend in the Days of Sail & Oar – David Patient

Shipbuilding in Kent: an overview of the ship plan archives at the National Maritime Museum – Jeremy Michell


Session 3

Shipbuilding at Chatham
(Chair – Nick Ball)

Achilles – The Ship that transformed Chatham – Dr Philip MacDougall

The Warship Anne – Richard Endsor


Closing Remarks