At Chatham the photos were taken on the ‘behind the scenes’ tour for NDS members in June 2010 led by architect Edward Sargent and Nigel Howard, historic environment and building project manager. It included parts of the dockyard not generally open to the public. The Double Ropery, built 1781–91 on the site of an earlier ropehouse, was a major feature of the visit. It is 1,265’ long and required 220 men to lay the largest 24” diameter cables along the 1,128’ laying floor. Visitors can still see its Georgian machinery making rope. Maudslay manufactured the 1811 forming machines and frames for the register plates. A steam engine was installed c.1836 and a capstan is thought to date from this time. We also saw the attics above where apprentices spun hemp. The building was restored and re-roofed in 1982. A report on this visit appears in Dockyards, 15(2), 3-5 (Dec 2010).
All photographs were taken by David Davies in 2010.