Feeling Ropey

Excuse the bad pun – and no I’m not feeling ill – but have been focussing a lot on rope over the last month. One of the main stories told in the newly fitted out Bridport Museum is that of the local rope and net industry. Do you know what a Bridport Dagger is? Visit the museum to find out. The new rope and net gallery comes complete with a lovingly restored ropewalk, which is available to see operating on certain days.

Bridport Museum ropewalk demonstration
Bridport Museum ropewalk being put through it’s paces by conservator Tim Martin at the grand re-opening

When I mentioned to Emily the curator that I was heading off to AIM conference at Chatham Historic Dockyard she suggested that I call in and see their ropewalk, which of course I dutifully did. What she didn’t mention is that it is 1/4 of a mile long! Wow. Having just worked on the Bridport redisplay lots of the objects and equipment used looked very familiar, but the scale was something else. If you get the chance, do go and see the site at Chatham. In a packed AIM conference I only got the briefest of looks around the historic dockyard, but will definetely be making a return trip.

Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard
Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard – You’ll have to visit to get the wow factor of going inside

In the meantime, three cheers for rope and rope making, the latest nugget of fascinating info I have learnt working in museums and heritage.

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