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New man at the helm

Roy StanbrookThe Port of London Authority (PLA) has appointed Roy Stanbrook as its new harbour master. Roy will head the PLA’s Lower Thames District which stretches along the Kent and Essex coasts from Crossness to the North Sea.

He joined the port authority as deputy harbour master six years ago and has a wide-ranging maritime background.

Roy started his sea-going career with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) where he served aboard the landing ship Sir Galahad during the Falklands War. Roy also saw action in the first Gulf War.

Since leaving the RFA he has worked aboard cable ships for BT Marine, taught radar, ship handling and Bridge Team Management at what is now the Warsash Maritime Academy on the Solent, and been employed by a marine insurance company.

His last post before joining the port authority was as director of operations for the Rochester-based Lapthorn shipping company.

Roy said: "These are exciting times to be on the Thames and to be working with a really active river community. Since joining the PLA I've been very impressed by the respect river users have for each other.

"There is a lot of change underway, not least with the London Gateway, and I know change can cause tensions.  I'm determined to work with all our Thames partners, to hear their hopes and concerns, and ensure we get what's best for our river and the people on it."

Chris, Roy and GordonChris McQueen, deputy manager for the PLA’s Vessel Traffic Services, takes over Roy's old post as deputy harbour master. Chris joined the PLA in 1989 after working at sea for Maersk, BP, Stephenson Clarke and Shaw Savill. 

Outgoing harbour master, Gordon Dickins, is retiring from the PLA after 32 years, having held a variety of senior posts. Notably, he was a duty officer at the Thames Barrier control during the flood defence's construction in the 1980s. Gordon continues his link with the PLA by assisting in contingency planning. He is also Course Director for Lloyds and North West Kent College's Diploma in Port Management.

(From left) Chris McQueen, Roy
Stanbrook and Gordon Dickins

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366. (Email).

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames
  • London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships. The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types.

Photos available on request from Martin Garside, PLA. Tel: 01474 562366 (Email).