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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 12:44 UK
The closure of Sheerness dockyard 50 years on
By Hamish Reid
BBC Kent

The BBC reports on the imminent closure of Sheerness dockyard (1958)

In 1958 the government announced the closure of Sheerness dockyard, with the loss of 2,500 jobs.

Two year later, on 31 March 1960 the Royal Navy left the docks.

The first ever secretary of the Admiralty, Samuel Pepys established the dockyard in the 17th century as an extension to the navy's headquarters in Chatham.

In 2009 the site was listed by the World Monuments Fund in a bid to protect this part of Kent's heritage.

Sheerness dockyard was one of the bases for the Royal Navy as it protected British waters in the North Sea. Following the departure of the Royal Navy, just five years short of the 300th anniversary of the base, the site was taken over by the Medway Port Authority for commercial use.

Sheerness became the largest port in the UK for the motor imports.

The naval terrace, built in 1820 to house the dockyard's officers is still occupied, and is part of the site listed by the World Monuments Fund. The WMF hope that, by listing the site, the focus on the dockyard will bring financial support to the many trusts trying to repair the historic buildings.

BBC South East's Sara Smith reports on the dockyard's WMF listing




SEE ALSO
Dockyard joins world at-risk list
07 Oct 09 |  Kent


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