Standard Quay (Faversham) Ltd was set up in 1993 by blacksmith and blockmaker, Colin Frake and 3 others including Colin's co-Director, Brian Pain (owner of SB Lady of the Lea), who is also founder director of Rochester Independent College.
The Quay is home to several historic ships and boats including barges such as the Cambria and Greta as well as traditional fishing boats, classic tugs and overnight moorings of all sorts! One of Standard Quay’s classic ‘barn’ buildings, that dates back to the seventeen hundreds, is the temporary home of the Cambria Thames Barge Exhibition.
The facilities currently available at Standard Quay include:
• Secure tidal mud berths for large traditional vessels
• Communally available sail loft and inside workshop
• 2 large dry docks suitable for traditional craft of any size up to and including Thames Sailing Barges
• Register of local skilled marine craftsmen.
The two large dry docks, together with the communally available sail loft and workshop, are probably the most important part of the way the Quay operates. Vessels coming for refits or maintenance will use various facilities in different ways - some involving local skilled shipwrights, welders, blacksmiths, riggers; whilst other jobs are done by the owners only.
Ship building and related activities have been documented at Standard Quay since 1720 and it is likely that the history goes further back than this, probably to Roman times. The most recent project is the setting up of Standard Quay Shipwrights Ltd which was founded in 2009 to provide apprenticeships in association with the Cambria Trust, in all the skills of a traditional shipwright. There are now four apprentices in their second year of training. They have been working so far mostly on Sailing Barges, most notably the Cambria and Lady of the Lea. The next big project is the restoration of the Purse Seine Fishing Boat Morayshire. The core qualification is the City and Guilds Levels 1 and 2, but their training is going far beyond what is covered by this and the apprentices are already, after only one year, finding themselves in local demand.