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The Oyster Dredge

Article and illustrations by John Harman - describing usage, terminology & construction

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Oystermen & Operations

John Harman's article on... Company Men and Flatsmen... (Discusses the different work of company and flatsmen, the stores, 'day fishing', the tenders, use of tides and more)

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Moorings &  Boat Construction

Where the Whitstable boats were moored and why that affected design

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Marking Beds & Channels

Some of the fascinating ways in which beds were marked... and protected!

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Boat Stories

Stories yawls - collected in our Visitors Book. (Discusses boats of the companies & flatsmen including Rosa and Ada, Favourite, Apple Dumplin', Welcome Messenger and Sidney Brown )

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The remarkable tale of the yawl Emeline and how she was spotted down on her luck in Spain. Story with thanks to Ray & Olive Harman and Jessie Cole

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Memories of Whitstable Oyster Dredging... by John Harman

Over the years, our Visitors Book and Chat Columns have collected many snippets and anecdotes about the Whitstable Oyster Fishing industry. Back In 2008, we thought it would be a good idea to preserve these memories for future generations by dedicating a special section to them.

We quickly enlisted the help of John Harman. John was a member one of the town's well known fishing families and had been there, done it and seen it all.

John kindly provided a range of extra articles, hand drawn illustrations and information that provided a fascinating insight into the work of the oyster dredger. Sadly, John died  in February 2011 and is much missed by all who knew him. With the kind permission of Anne Harman, the articles have been retained on the site. They are not only a source of information and inspiration for future generations. They are also a fitting tribute to a true Whitstable Native and one of the nicest and most talented guys with whom I have had the good fortune to work.

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