Red Sails (2011)


Thames sailing barge at sea

Red Sails © Peter Smith Stock Images

Directed By:  Michael Maloney

Production Company: Countrywide

Kent Locations: Faversham

Faversham Film Maker Michael Maloney set to screen his documentary Red Sails at the Royal Cinema in Faversham.

Filmed at the working Ship Yard in Faversham, the creeks in the Estuary and Redsands Fort, the documentary explores the influence of the Thames Sailing Barge in the development of trade, and its contribution to the building of Victorian London through the use of interviews and archive footage.  Looking into the lives of the craftsmen and their trade, which made the Thames Barges so unique, it was an apt time for filming as the last commercially trading vessel, The Cambria, has been recently restored.

Faversham is a town with a strong maritime history. Since prehistoric time it has been a location for the loading and unloading of cargo where boats and ships would travel down the various creeks that branch off from the Thames Estuary. The town was an associate member of the Confederation of Cinque Ports and from the 11th till the 16th centuries provided the nation with navies in which to defend the county.

The Thames Estuary Army forts, of which the Redsands Fort is one, were constructed in 1942 with the purpose to provide anti-aircraft fire within the Thames Estuary area. In 1955, the forts were deemed to be of no further operational value and were briefly the home to pirate radio stations during the 1960s and 70’s.  Since then the Forts have remained empty but still are a striking piece of historic architecture on the horizon.

Maloney has a history of enlightening audiences about Kent’s local past. In 2009 he completed a film called A Sideways Launch about the history of the Pollock Shipyard in Faversham. Between 1916 and 1969, more than 1200 ships were built by the yard on the creek and launches sideways into the narrow waterway.

Faversham is set on the picturesque Faversham Creek and is a beautiful, historic market town with nearly 500 listed buildings, many restaurants, shops, attractions and beautiful walks. The area has been used for various productions including Southcliffe (2013), Great British Story: A People’s History (2012) and Great Expectations (2012).

Maloney is screening his film at the Royal Cinema in Faversham on the 7th of December at 1pm. DVD’s will be available to purchase.


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