The Old New Quay

Home Of The Rocket Brigade

Following a huge storm that hit Whitehaven, clean-up work and restoration began on the damage inflicted to the town’s historic harbour in 2017. Buildings upon the Old New Quay were demolished and funding obtained for renovations.

  • The Old New Quay was built in 1742 to give protection to the Old Quay. At the south end of the quay there used to be two lighthouse keepers’ cottages. It was also home to the TS Bee Sea Cadets training ‘ship’ for many years – a building.
  • The Whitehaven Rocket Brigade was formed in 1849 when the first shore-to-ship rescue device was bought for the town. The volunteers, who would support the lifeboatmen, would haul the apparatus on a wagon to where a stricken ship was floundering offshore. The rockets, carrying ropes, were fired out and once received on board, a much heavier cable could be drawn across, facilitating the use of a breeches-buoy to rescue stranded crew and passengers.

Last year, artwork, benches, new railings and a restored cage on top of the flag tower building were put in situ on the renovated quay. There, a glass boat ‘seat’ designed by artist Stephen Broadbent incorporates some of the history of the Rocket Brigade.

Old New Quay, Whitehaven - Home Of The Rocket Brigade
Old New Quay, Whitehaven – Home Of The Rocket Brigade