Living and Working on Sheppey

Welcome to the Living and Working on Sheppey: Past, Present and Future project website.

Living and Working on Sheppey explores the recent history and changes in working lives on Sheppey in the last decades of the 20th century and into the 21st. It concentrates on the period since the closure of the dockyard at Sheerness in 1960.

The site contains materials from older people and their memories of work in or around the dockyard and everyday life in Blue Town, the area of Sheerness closed to the dockyard. You can listen to clips of these interviews on different themes including the closure of the Dockyard, various trades, and changes in family life across different generations, and you can read the interviews in full (you need to register to do that).

You can read and listen to short essays written by young people in 2009-10 on what they imagine their futures have in store for them. They talk about their hopes and aspirations for their working lives, families, and travel as well as some of the difficulties they foresee.

You can watch the two videos made by the artists, Tea, as part of the Living and Working on Sheppey project. In ‘Back and Forth on High Street Blue Town’ you can see images of Blue Town High Street past, present – and future! And you can hear older people’s memories of everyday life on the High Street through the twentieth century. In ‘Sheerness Port’, you can go on a journey around the site of the former Dockyard today.

The Living and Working on Sheppey project was funded by the South East Coastal Communities Programme from 2009 to 2011. See Peter Hatton and Jenny Hurkett and discuss the project, the Blue Town Heritage Centre and the Isle of Sheppey in the video clip below.