I have been to … The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, KentPosted: August 19, 2015
I parked my car in the car park (which is located inside one of the old covered slipways) and made my way through the ticket office. (The entrance fee was £19.00 … less 15% because I am a member of English Heritage. The ticket allows me to return as often as I like for the next twelve months for no extra charge.)
My first stop was at the building that currently houses the ‘Hearts of Oak’ experience. This tells the story of the construction of wooden-hulled sail-powered warships at Chatham Dockyard using a number of tableau and interpretation techniques.
This exhibit will be closing in September of 2015 and will re-open in March of 2016.
The large square outside the building afford an excellent view of one end of the Historic Dockyard.
My next stop was No.1 Smithery, which is used to house temporary exhibits (during my visit this was WAR GAMES) and examples of models from the National Maritime Museum’s and Imperial War Museum’s model ship collections. (No photography was allowed in the latter exhibit, and there was a tantalising view of some of the models that are not of display through a window into the main collection storage area.)
I was allowed to take one photograph in No.1 Smithery … of a crane that was used inside the building.
I then made my way over to HMS Gannet …
… after which I walked around HMS Ocelot …
… and HMS Cavalier.
(I will be writing more extensive blog entries about these ships as and when time permits.)
Once past the Railway Workshop (which is now a play area and attendant café) I came across an old Police Box (but no attendant strange doctors!) …
… which was located outside the former site of the Kent Police Museum. Next door is the Nelson Brewery …
… which was having a delivery when I was there.
I passed some restored examples of the railway rolling stock that was used within the dockyard …
… as I walked towards the Victorian Ropery.
Because my time was limited, I did not go in to see how rope was (and still is) manufactured. Instead I made my way to the building that houses the ‘Steel, Steam, & Submarines’ exhibit.
This exhibit tells the story of the dockyard up until it closed, and contains numerous models of ships that were build or refitted in Chatham.
(I will write a separate blog entry about the models in the ‘Steel, Steam, & Submarines’ exhibit as and when time permits.)
I then walked back towards the main entrance, but on the way I paid a visit to the covered slipway that is now called ‘The Big Space.
This currently houses some of the larger vehicles from the collection of the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham. (I will write a separate blog entry about the vehicles I saw as and when time permits). The next-door building houses the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Lifeboat Collection …
… which seems to include examples of every lifeboat design ever used by the RNLI.