Author Topic: The Gillingham Shipyard  (Read 495 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2020, 06:58:13 PM »
I have spoken to the chap ref my German navigation instruments,as referd to previously ,
1/he decided the word winklelm translated to ANGLE,he said my German was as good as his Chinees
any way from my discription he guessed it was a circular slide rule ,probably used in conjunction with a sextant to navigate at night ,used to convert seasonal star readings to a usable standard.

Online KeithG

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 423
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2020, 04:58:38 PM »
Nothing really but just to say i was involved with Fibre Glass boat building between 1968 and 1971.
At Hoo St. Werburgh i was involved with Edward Heaths "Morning Cloud" but in 1970 worked at Intermarine at Gads Hill and i am sure our warehouse was the first one on the left inside Steelfields gate as is today.
Steelfields was there then but a smaller company.
We produced fibre glass canoes... Kayaks etc.
Nostalgia is a thing of the past

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2020, 03:17:14 PM »
Peat Smiffy,sorry for my German ,it's some forty years since I set eyes on the article,however in the light of your answers, I m to have a chat with a gent who was a navigator in the Merchant Marine for many years,including German ships out of Hamburg,so I will report back ASAP perhaps he can confirm what is was,though I think what you two came up with sounds about rite to me.thanks


Offline Pete

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2020, 01:50:16 PM »
Google translate came up with angle recorder system so navigation kit or rangefinder?

Offline Smiffy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2020, 01:10:46 PM »
Winkel may be one of the other words, meaning "angle" or something related. Schreiber can mean a writer or clerk but schriber translates as "scratch". No idea what stroy could mean.

Offline Longpockets

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2020, 09:03:28 AM »
Not sure if you were joking about "stroy winkkal schriber"?

I believe schriber is German for scribe and can also be a surname. Not knowing the context of where the words are could it be a blokes name?

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2020, 09:48:10 PM »
The chap who gave me most of my information reguarding fair mile marine ,was an Irish gent,he was a very skilled electrician ,involved in the installation of early radar equipment in coastal craft.
He owned a fish& chip shop in Borstal high st, lived there for years, he once showed me his collection of artifacts "liberated" from the e boats he helped scrap,because some of the electrical stuff on board the e boats was still considerd secret,along with a Naval team he was often the first civilian allowed on board,I remember he told me most of the boats were just as Thay came in,binoculars and biniculs(is that how you spell it) having been removed by the Navy,so he had a large collection of navigation equipment,books ,and other stuff,mostly bearing the swastica stamp.even crockery marked " kriegs marina heer".will I ever find out what a"stroy winkkal schriber "is .

Offline stuartwaters

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2020, 03:22:34 PM »
I put an account on the old site.

My mother took in lodgers after the war. I remember a young man. He had come to look a two
small boats at Gillingham They were ex wartime inshore craft. He went out in the morning to
view them. away all day, then he asked me `can you use a `blow torch `.  I said `no`. then he
explained. I have been `breaking down ` one boat, when a man watching said `will you sell
the other boat, to me `. `Quote your price ` the lodger said. They agreed on a price.
A day later, the lodger paid my mother,  `I am away ` he said. Sold the first one as scrap metal `.
The other ` sold that one too `. He was gone.
Who was he, he said when he came, he was ----- ----- son. His father was the man who bought
the battleship `Warspite `for scrap.


That didn't go too well for him. HMS Warspite ran aground on The Lizard on her way to the breakers yard and had to be broken up where she lay. Her remains are still visible on the low spring tides.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.

Offline castle261

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2020, 02:14:53 PM »
I put an account on the old site.

My mother took in lodgers after the war. I remember a young man. He had come to look a two
small boats at Gillingham They were ex wartime inshore craft. He went out in the morning to
view them. away all day, then he asked me `can you use a `blow torch `.  I said `no`. then he
explained. I have been `breaking down ` one boat, when a man watching said `will you sell
the other boat, to me `. `Quote your price ` the lodger said. They agreed on a price.
A day later, the lodger paid my mother,  `I am away ` he said. Sold the first one as scrap metal `.
The other ` sold that one too `. He was gone.
Who was he, he said when he came, he was ----- ----- son. His father was the man who bought
the battleship `Warspite `for scrap.

Offline stuartwaters

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2020, 07:28:27 AM »
I knew someone who was involved with the scrap business at Fairmile Wharf in Gillingham. They broke up ex-Kreigsmarine S-Boats (also known as E-Boats) there. He did tell me that they also broke up an ex-Royal Navy submarine there HMS Sentinel.


The German boats had two major advantages over the British ones in that they were diesel powered and steel built, whereas the British ones were powered by aviation fuel (being powered as they were by Rolls Royce Merlin engines) and were constructed from wood.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2020, 11:08:44 PM »
Further to my post ref Fairmile marine,records show that it allso had a slipway at Rochester on blue bore warf in my time it was universally known as"the old iron dump",
After the German surrender in 1945 some KriegsMarina costal boats were disarmed and decommissioned at the Gilingham facility ,probably one of the last jobs prior to closure,any other information great fully received

Offline Dave Smith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 94
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2020, 06:01:46 PM »
Stuart. Most interesting about Fairmile Marine. When I was evacuated to Shepperton in 1940, close by on the Thames was Walton Yacht Works which changed its name to Fairmile Marine & built the lovely looking ML's. In 1953-60, I worked for Napiers & a colleague & his 6 brothers bought an ex RN ML which had 2 Napier half Deltics( 9 cylinders). He said when out to sea with full throttle, "it would drink fuel faster than you could pour fuel from a 5 gallon Jerry can"! I remember well Gillingham cement works with its enormous chimney, for in the 1930's we regularly went to the Strand, via the riverside pathway alongside the cement works; it was never very busy.

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2020, 11:18:48 AM »
Stuart,once again you have naild it,I found loads of information on the Internet,ref boats ,there use and history,but nothing on the Gillingham angle,thank you

Offline stuartwaters

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 368
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2020, 10:52:59 AM »
Fairmile Wharf or Quay was on the site formerly occupied by Steelfields at Lower Gillingham, a few hundred yards downstream from the Gillingham Shipyard.


Fairmile produced a number of types of coastal vessel for the Royal Navy in WW2. The clever thing about their craft was that they were prefabricated in a factory then, in kit form, were transported by lorry or train to boat builders all over the country and assembled. The Quay at Gillingham was on the site of the Gillingham Portland Cement Works, which had closed just before the war started. It probably got its name from the Fairmile craft assembled there.

Fairmile designs were:

A Type - Motor Launch (mostly transferred to the RAF for use as Rescue Launches). There was one at Rye until recently.

B Type - another Motor Launch. This was fitted with rails on the deck to allow the boats to be converted from one role to another in hours rather than weeks. B Type Motor Launches served as Motor Torpedo Boats, Motor Gunboats, Inshore Patrol Boats, Inshore Minesweepers and Coastal Anti-Submarine Vessels and over 600 were built over the course of the war. Extraordinarily seaworthy for their size, they could accompany convoys as far as Gibraltar.

C Type - fast Motor Gunboats

D Type - the famous 'dog' boats, the most numerous of the Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boats.

F Type - fast Landing Craft, used by the Commandos.

All of these designs were very similar, all 110ft long and were able to be built by any kind of boat building yard. It allowed many former yacht builders to stay in business during the war.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.

Offline Colin walsh

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: The Gillingham Shipyard
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2020, 10:34:43 AM »
Hi Stuart,I once worked with a gentalman(now long gone)who worked in a ship yard in Gillingham in ww2,think it was named 'fair mile' or similar,he to.d me Thay built high speed costal craft,he did in fact pass on to me several admiralty blue prints ref construction of these craft  ,long since lost,unfortunatly ,another interesting point was he had in his position a fair amount of navigation  equipment ,charts ,and tools from the ww2 German navy,recovered fromE boats decommissioned at Gillingham after the war,?my interest is model boat building(still is) ,sounds as if there may be an interesting story hear,any information Stuart ?
PS reserch shows a fair mile  marine owned by an ex Admiral but no further information,