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Looking ahead to the reopening of Chatham’s Historic Dockyards

Category: News

As we welcome spring, the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown is in place. We can begin to look forward to outdoor mixing (abiding by the “rule of six”), and the return of non-essential retail and the hospitality sector.

At Fingerprint Financial Planning we are greatly looking forward to the reopening of Chatham’s Historic Dockyards, a celebrated tourist attraction and home to Fingerprint HQ.

If you are looking for a fun day out for your family once restrictions lift, why not try the historic docks, and pop in for a cup of tea and a chat with us at Fingerprint while you are here?

Step aboard three historic warships

The dockyards have existed on this site for 400 years. They are home to three British warships with 145 years of military service between them, providing a fascinating record of toil and courage on the high seas.

Pay a family visit to the dockyards and you could be stepping aboard a Victorian sloop, a second world war destroyer, and a cold war submarine.

HMS Gannet (1878)

A 190-foot-long Victorian sloop, HMS Gannet was built in 1878 and served the Royal Navy for 90 years. She undertook commissions in the South Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea, “flying the flag” and protecting British interests.

She was later used as a dormitory ship for a navy training vessel, T. S. Mercury, where harsh regimes produced naval recruits for more than 80 years.

The ownership of HMS Gannet passed to Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust in 1994 and soon it will be open again for you and your family to explore.

HMS Cavalier (1944)

Launched in 1944, HMS Cavalier saw immediate world war two action and now stands as a memorial to those lost during the conflict.

After 28 years of active service and several moves – including nearly finding a home in a Malaysian theme park – HMS Cavalier arrived at the Historic Dockyard Chatham in 1999.

An impressive monument and memorial to world war two, it serves as an educational and poignant reminder of the nation’s history.

HM Submarine Ocelot (1962)

If you have ever fancied yourself as the star of a submarine espionage thriller, step aboard HMS Ocelot (as soon as social distancing rules allow) and experience the cramped conditions below the waves.

You can also discover its galley kitchen, narrow passageways, and take a look through its periscope!

HMS Ocelot was the last Royal Navy warship built at Chatham and was launched in 1962. Its missions remain a secret for now – the Ministry of Defence has yet to release papers detailing her service history – but we do know that the submarine clocked up over 29,000 miles during her 27 years of service.

Ocelot arrived at Chatham Dockyard in August 1991.

Explore the history of the dockyards in the Command of the Oceans galleries

At the centre of the British warship-building industry for more than 400 years, the Historic Dockyards have many stories to tell. You can hear some of them through its Command of the Oceans interactive displays.

From an immersive walking cinema, follow the life of a retired Master Shipwright, to a model of Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Victory.

Historic Dockyards Chatham has been at the heart of British maritime history for centuries. HMS Victory was not only built here but also returned here before and after the famous battle.

You can also find out what life aboard a warship was like by examining more than 100 objects recovered from the wreck of HMS Invincible and check out the archaeological site of HMS Namur’s final resting place. Launched in 1756, a portion of its timber frame was found beneath the dock’s Wheelwright Shop in 1995.

Something for everyone

From educational naval history to a Victorian ropery and play areas for the kids, there is plenty to explore at Chatham Historic Dockyard. You’ll find places to eat and drink at the Wagon Stop Canteen and the Mess Deck.

The docks are also home to the official Call the Midwife tour. If you are a fan of the BAFTA-nominated show, you can walk in the footsteps of all the main characters with a walking tour of filming locations from the series.

On top of all that, you’ll also find Fingerprint HQ.

Pop in to see us for a hot drink and a chat about your finances

We at Fingerprint can’t wait for the docks to reopen.

We would like to extend an offer to all our current clients, and any friends or family you’d like to recommend via our “Refer a friend” scheme, to join us for a socially distanced outdoor coffee as soon as restrictions allow.

Situated at the south end of the dockyard, just past HMS Ocelot, we are open and happy to discuss any aspect of your finances. Whether you’re contemplating retirement, looking to invest, or need help with estate planning we can help.

Remember too, that we offer a £50 John Lewis or M&S voucher when you refer a friend or family member who goes on to become a Fingerprint Financial Planning client.

And we’ll even go further, giving you an additional £100 voucher for every subsequent friend, family member, or colleague you refer.

We can’t wait to welcome you back once the docks reopen so pop in for a coffee and find out how our team of expert planners can help you.

In the meantime, you can get in touch by emailing hello@fingerprintfp.co.uk or calling 03452 100 100.