40 41 WEST END DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION DEVELOPINGTHE ROYAL NAVAL DOCKYARD T he British Empirewas built on the strength of its navy,and for eons, Englandwas themost promi- nent seafaring power on earth. While English fighting vessels had roamed the seas since the 10th century,a standing “NavyRoyal,”with its own purpose-built warships and dockyards,didn’t emerge until the reign of HenryVIII,half amillennium later.In 1588,Queen Elizabeth celebrated the British fleet’s victoryover the Span- ishArmada,and by the 17th century,the Navyhad completed the transition froma semi-amateur fighting fleet of“gentlemen” (upper-class soldiers) and“tarpaulins”(pro- fessional seamen,who generally served on AT A GLANCE WEST END DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WHAT: A development and management company WHERE: Sandys, Bermuda WEBSITE: wedco