Saturday 5 January 2013

Dolphin Quay

Tucked away at the top of a tiny creek just off the town centre in Emsworth, Dolphin Quay has been one of those rare places, a traditional old working boat yard with a collection of interesting, mostly wooden boats, many in various stages of restoration or in a few cases decay.

Sadly the incumbent shipwright Tim Gilmore who had operated from the site since 1996 was given notice by the landlord and has relocated his company to nearby Birdham Pool Marina.

It seems all too likely that the yard will be developed into waterside houses and apartments  but speaking to a berth holder I learned that the moorings, the slipway and the creek are owned and operated by Chichester Harbour Conservancy and there is an intention to maintain those facilities and that any development will have to provide access for boat owners.

Something similar happened with the adjacent development (on the right below) a public footpath and right of way  is maintained through an arched courtyard which gives access to the path alongside slipper pond, one of the old tide mill ponds in Emsworth.

It would be good if the development of Dolphin Quay can be accomplished while still retaining the moorings as an active boating facility and place of enjoyment and attraction for the town.


  1. Ah! I wondered where the boat yard had gone, hadn't got round to digging about... no surprise about the development for housing though - it's a prime spot... one thing I have noticed is that some of the older/tattier (abandoned??) boats at the top of the creek are now beginning to disappear after years and years in situ... looks like someone is tidying up the view for the potential new home owners....

  2. Sadly it is not the case that the Conservancy own the moorings, though they take an interest in all moorings in the harbour. The boatyard side belongs to whoever owns the land, while the western, bankside, ones are if separate ownership but have in the past been leased to the owner of the main site. Without vigilance all these moorings may sucumb to development, meaning that the delightful sight of traditional boats virtually in the middle of the village will be lost. Anyone agreeing please ontact the Conservancy and Havant Borough Council. Boatlover, Emsworth.

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