captain sam the whitstable giant

In a special ceremony to wake and name the Giant, Jeanne Harrison thanked Roger Annable and his staff at the Castle for their invaluable support during the time the artists from Strange Cargo had been in residence creating the town's newest and biggest resident. She also thanked all the local people who had contributed their knowledge of the town and provided practical assistance in order that the Giant could be created, especially thanking Whitstable artists Emily Firmin and Justin Mitchell who created the Diver and the Horse Big Head characters.

Names for the Giant and his helpers were selected from many hundreds suggested by local people during visits or Open Days. The Big Heads were named Bobbin and Dollar Dan. Dollar Dan specifically makes reference to Whitstable’s Dollar Row, a street built from the proceeds of salvaged American dollars from wrecks off the coast and only salvagable because of the diving helmet invented during Victorian times in Whitstable. Bobbin was a combination of many references to the horse that surfaced during research, including the seahorse, Whitstable’s Hooden Horse, the white horses on the waves, and Invicta, the symbol of Kent.

When the Giant's name was finally revealed he visibly woke up, giving a great shudder, as if shaking off centuries of sleep, and Captain Sam, as he has been named, sprung to life. Captain Sam reflects the town's long and important association with the sea. He has the appearance of a handsome, bearded fisherman, wearing a coat encrusted with oyster shells and a fisherman’s apron embellished with reminders of his Whitstable home. He is swathed in fishing nets and, with a twinkle in his blue eyes, he was obviously very happy to greet his many new friends.

The Giant watched over the carefree afternoon as hundreds of cups of tea were consumed from china cups and saucers and over 300 scones bursting with strawberry jam and clotted cream were enjoyed free of charge by everyone who stayed to picnic on the grass and listen to great music from The Rattlers.

A Whitstable Giant Association accompanies the Giant when he takes part in events, festivals and carnivals, both locally and further afield in Europe, as part of the ever-growing family of East Kent Giants. Anyone still wishing to find out more about helping the Giant and joining the Association please call Strange Cargo on 01303 244533 or email info@strangecargo.org.uk