Herne Bay Historical Records Society – Messing About In Boats

The Herne Bay Historical Records Society have published a book covering the pleasure boats of Herne Bay, as told by a lifelong local resident and boat owner, Roger Turner.

We spoke to Mike Bundock of the Herne Bay Historical Records Society (HBHRS) to find out more about this nostalgic and interesting look back through Herne Bay’s nautical history.


This is quite a niche subject for a book – is there a story behind its inception?

HBHRS have a small scale publishing programme, whereby we look to share some of our collected knowledge of the town. To date we have published some 16 titles (including this one). Roger has lived his whole life locally and for all this time, he has been closely connected with the sea. Our late President, John Fishpool, felt that this subject would bring back many memories for those who have lived in and visited the town.


What years does the book cover?

The book really covers the whole history of Herne Bay from the 1830s up until very recent times. As would be expected, the book focuses on Roger’s lifetime, really from the 1940s to date.


How did you go about sourcing photos and stories for the book?

The images have come from a variety of sources. Some are from Roger’s own collection, while others have come from local postcard collectors as well as the HBHRS archive.


Does the book feature any notable boats or people that local residents will recognise?

Yes, many of the names will be familiar to older residents. The Medway Queen, Audrey are two of the larger boats mentioned. Of the smaller boats, Kingfisher and Vixen may ring a bell, as might Wildlife, a boat that was around until about ten years ago.


Copies of The Story of Herne Bay’s Pleasure Boats are available from The Seaside Museum or directly from the Herne Bay Historical Records Society.

by Alice Smales

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