Published: February 2021
Author: Geoffrey Watson
Particularly, he has given more space to the River Medway where we now see at the Isle of Grain large LNG carriers arriving from many parts of the world, where previously we would see VLCC’s berthed. In stark contrast he has included many of the warships that used to arrive and sail from Chatham Dockyard. We used to see a variety of foreign visitors, especially around the time of Chatham Navy Days, when they would be open to the public. The UK’s first nuclear powered submarine (HMS Dreadnought) sailing and HMS Triumph departing after many years laid-up, add to the story. The dockyard is currently used for commercial shipping, but this may cease around 2025 with a major redevelopment project being planned.
Regarding the Thames, he has included a lot more current shipping, from the giant container ships at London Gateway, to the conversion of Imperial Wharf at Gravesend to handle cargoes of bitumen. Again, as a contrast he has included more local vessels (tugs, bunker barges etc) plus coasters that call either in Tilbury Dock or at the many riverside wharves that are still operational. It was a difficult decision what to include and exclude from this book, but he hopes it gives a good balance of how shipping on the two rivers has evolved over the years.
Read the Nautilus Telegraph's review