Charley Noble was the sailors’ name for the galley chimney, which drew the heat from the galley stove and carried it safely above decks. As you can imagine, it was a pretty important piece of equipment in the galley – for no-one wants hot coals or embers burning in the kitchen of a wooden ship!
A British merchant service captain, Charles Noble, is said to be responsible for the origin of this nickname. Around 1850, Captain Noble found out that the stack of his ship’s galley was made of copper and ordered that it be kept bright. The ship’s crew then started referring to it as a Charley Noble! When it got too full of soot, the kitchen staff would fire a pistol up the stack to clear it. This was called “firing Charley Noble”.
It took a lot of discussion to come up with the name. We wanted something that gave a nod to the shipping history of the Huddart Parker building and how Huddart Parker was a major shipping line in Wellington, as well as acknowledging the chefs who cooked on board in the galley kitchens in very precarious conditions.
And we thought it was also a great reflection for our fire based cooking – because we certainly are putting heat in the kitchen!