Thames Maritime Heritage

Retrain for the Future while Retaining the Past

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Thames Maritime Heritage (TMH) is a concept for a 21st Century London which is on the brink of rediscovering an almost lost or forgotten liquid highway which in one stroke unites and divides both halves of the greatest city on earth while providing an unchoked transport artery from Teddington to the North Sea and the world. The Thames is more than a river. The primary dream of The Thames Maritime Heritage Project is to preserve heritage boats on the Greenwich Peninsula, restoring such craft to a useful life on the water, educating a new generation of maritime specialists in the ways of The River, providing an educational and social conduit for potential ship's engineers, sailors, navigators and introducing the public to the ways of The River, its artisans, craftsmen, watermen, lightermen, visitors and residents.

Thames Maritime Heritage (TMH) is to be a joint venture involving Maritime Volunteer Service HQ Unit and three primary and original stake-holders  Swiftstone TrustMassey ShawSteam Tug Portwey. Classic ships such as Kenya Jacaranda have a secondary interest as potential future users of the facilities the Steel Jetty will provide on Greenwich Peninsula. It is also envisaged that commercial interests will want to share the Steel Jetty experience passively or actively.  ThamesMaritimeHeritage is already talking with ships chandlers, riverboat operators and others having an active interest in The River and its estuary.

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English Partnerships, shipwright-training interests, local colleges, positive elements of the former Mayflower Sail Training Society are expected to become involved in an embryonic plan to bring small historic ships, shipwrighting and river life together on the Greenwich Peninsula. MVS plans to operate a 24hr watch station from the jetty as part of London's flood defence plan.

Ship-building on the Thames?

It is possible that ship-wrighting projects will swing into action under the umbrella of Thames Maritime Heritage on the Greenwich Peninsula led by MVS (Hq Unit). A River Life Centre is envisaged where ship repairs and rebuilds will be undertaken by trainees under expert guidence and monitored by skilled volunteers and/or paid staff. "Greenwich Peninsular Historic Ship's Harbour" refers and has it's own discrete website at

The Thames Maritime Heritage Project initially plans to bring together a steel tug, a fireboat, a steam-tug and a converted Brixham sailing trawler at a single location in the tidal Thames where resources will be available to refurbish, rebuild, restore, refit three entirely different craft, which will then proceed about their business in the ways they know best. 

The Project plans to draw together existing but dwindling ship-wrighting skills and match those skills to young potential tradesmen tied in with educational establishments in restoring heritage ships and send them back to sea rather than have them rot in some mud-hole. 

The bigger picture envisages a riverside workshop, school, meeting place, eating place, chandlery all embraced within the Thames Maritime Heritage RiverLife Centre on the Steel Jetty along Bugsby's Reach on Greenwich Peninsula.