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Behind the Scenes5th December 2022

Joe Swash and The Dengineers at The Dockyard

CBBC hit show, The Dengineers, landed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham back in May and 12-year-old Jonny from Sevenoaks visited HM Submarine OCELOT for inspiration to create his perfect den. The episode is out today, and you can watch it now on CBBC.

So, what is The Dengineers?

The Dengineers team design themed dens for children based on their hobbies and interests. The show debuted in November 2015 and is now on its 7th series. In 2019, the show won the Factual Entertainment category during the British Academy Children’s Awards.

In this episode, Jonny makes a submarine themed den. Jonny also uses his time on the show to raise awareness around his condition, alopecia. He wanted to create a submarine den because he would love to be a marine engineer when he is older.

Image: The crew filming Jonny and presenter Joe Swash onboard HM Submarine OCELOT and meeting James Morgan in the weapons room.

What better place to look for ideas than HM submarine OCELOT here at the Dockyard?

Jonny had the chance to look through OCELOT’s periscope and write his own message on the tele-typer (becoming the first member of the public to use the machine.) He also got the chance to meet our Heritage Engineering and Historic Ships Manager, James Morgan, to dive deeper into OCELOT’s history.

James said:

“It was fantastic to have The Dengineers crew at the Dockyard, they really immersed themselves in the history and operation of HMS OCLEOT. We quickly realised the passion Jonny has for submarines so made our best efforts to open as much of the vessel as possible for him and his family. I wish them all the best in the construction of their den. I can’t wait to see the finished den.”

Image: Joe Swash looking through the periscope towards HMS GANNET.

The popular show is presented by Joe Swash. Joe got stuck in, swinging through hatches and learning all about OCELOT with Jonny.

The Dengineers Director, Oli said:

“It’s not every day you get to work in a space as spectacular as this. It was a tight squeeze fitting all of the camera equipment in there, however, they captured stunning results.”

During their visit, Jonny got to do plenty of other special things such as climbing up the Conning Tower for a breath-taking view over the 80-acre Historic Dockyard.

Image: To round off the day, Jonny was asked about his experience onboard OCELOT and how this will inspire his den.

You can now watch The Dengineers new episode featuring HM Submarine OCELOT and Jonny’s story on BBC iPlayer:

We hope to see you back at the Dockyard again Joe and Jonny.

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