Seaplane Works, Short Brothers in Rochester

This exhibition is running from 27 July to 14 October 2023.

This exciting exhibition celebrates pioneering aviators and marks the 75th anniversary of the Short Brother's factory closing in Rochester. 

This exhibition will celebrate the skill and creativity of a workforce featuring original:

  • drawings
  • film
  • memorabilia. 

At the centre of the exhibition will be a large oil and charcoal painting of the 'Canopus' flying by international acclaimed Medway artist Billy Childish. 

About The Short Brothers

The Short Brothers aeronautical company was founded in 1908 and was the first company in the world to make aeroplanes. Originally based in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, the factory moved to the banks of the River Medway at Borstal in 1917. They stayed in Borstal for more than 30 years.

At its peak, the company employed 12,000 people and tested their innovative flying boats on the river. These included The Empire and the Sunderland models. 

During World War II, they also developed Shorts Stirling, the first four engine bomber. 

This exhibition has been created in partnership with Medway Archives.