Introduce a girl to engineering day…
Here at The Dockyard we are all about learning – it’s one of our core charitable objectives! With educational tours to open a world of discoveries for youngsters to school holiday-based family fun, leanring runs through our core an we have a particular focus on developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education initiatives to inspire the next generation of engineers. As an operational Royal Dockyard, Chatham was at the forefront of engineering and technology and the Trust has a role to play in supporting this today.
One of the engineering strands operated by the Historic Dockyard, is it’s working Victorian Ropery, which still makes rope in the traditional Victorian way today. We choose to do this to keep the skill of traditional ropemaking alive today and demonstrate the process for our visitors! We caught up with one of our Master Ropemakers, Leanne, to talk about working in the Ropery. As far as we’re aware, Leanne is the only female traditional ropemaker in the UK!
“I first saw the Ropery while I was working at Front of House and immediately fell in love the place. I was amazed that they still used Victorian machinery to run a fully commercial business and when they started advertising for a Ropemaker with training on the job, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something so unique. I worked hard for my position in the team and finished my training in about two and a half years. I love that I get to run machinery that dates from 1811 to make rope which is sent all over the world. I also really enjoy making products from the rope and using my skills in know tying and splicing that I have learnt here at the Ropery.”
Supporting the next generation of engineers is something the Trust feel very passionately about, and Leanne is a great example of someone who didn’t start her career in Engineering, but has developed a great passion through seeing places like the Victorian Ropery in operation.
As with all of our learning initiatives, we hope that Leanne’s story inspires others to consider careers in engineering and we always aim to inspire even at a very young age. With that in mind, you may be familiar with our favourite scientist Doc.Yard! Doc brings science fun to all and his assistant Bunsen’s lab will be back this Easter! Keep an eye out for more info on the science fun involved!