The Captain’s Cat is feeling lonely – there are no visitors at the Dockyard for him to play with. To help keep his is mind active and his creativity flowing he will be setting a challenge each Monday.
As part of our ‘Museum from Home’ series, the Captain’s Cat will issue a series of easy of follow instructions using items that you can find around the house, no special tools or skills will be required.
Great fun for the whole family – we promise they won’t make too much mess!
Don’t forget to share your creations with us on social media using #mondaymission
Tattoos are a living and uniquely three dimensional form of art and they have a well-documented maritime link. It is no exception that service personnel and dockyard workers based at Chatham’s naval base got tattoos to mark special achievements.
But did you know, tattooing actually has an ancient heritage in many cultures? The oldest example of tattoos on a human body are the 61 tattoos found on Ötzi the Iceman who dates from around 3200 BC.
In celebration of our Spring exhibition, Tattoo: British Art Tattoo Revealed, this week’s mission is to colour a tattoo design for a sailor.
Special thanks for this design goes to resident Dockyard tattoo artist, Fraser Peek. Among many other businesses that call the Dockyard home, Fraser Peek has his own studio in The Joiner’s Shop. Fraser named his studio after the Dry Docks located on site and has had clients visit from all over the world.
For over 400 years, Chatham was one of Britain’s most important centres of warship building and repair – 400 warships and 57 submarines were built here. But what was it like to be a sailor on board? A ship of the Royal Navy was always awake. Men were on watch through the night and even for those who weren’t, the day started before sunrise.
We know from the diary of a carpenter who served on HMS Gannet that their daily routine went like this:
All these activities were strictly regulated and the start of each one was normally shown by a pipe being blown.
What does your daily routine look like? Did you even make your bed this morning?
A Tricorne was a popular style of hat during the 18th century and was worn as part of naval uniforms. Its distinguishing characteristic was a very practical one: the hat acted as an early umbrella with the turned-up portions of the brim forming gutters that directed rain away from the wearer’s face. The brims of the hats could be left plain or dressed up with a variety of trims.
Can you make a hat worthy of a heroic Admiral or maybe a wayward pirate?
Don’t forget to share your creations with us on social media.
Making a message unreadable is called “encrypting.” For the receiver to read the message again it needs to be “decrypted.” For “encrypting” and “decrypting” a spy would use the same code – this code is called a “cipher”.
Download and print the Cipher Wheel template here (or draw your own).
Using your Cipher Wheel
To use your wheel to decode messages, you must first set the correct “key” (example: M21). Turn the inner wheel so that the number (21) lines up with the outer wheel letter (M).
Don’t move the wheel now, keep them in place.
For each letter of the hidden message, find that character on the outer wheel and write down the letter that is exactly beneath it on the inner wheel until your message is complete.
To read the encrypted message, get the key from the below message and align the wheel – keep the wheel in this position. For each letter of your message find the character on the inner wheel, and write down the letter that is directly above it on the outer wheel.
Can you decrypt the Captain Cat’s clues?
Q1: On land they are called Cannons. What are they called on a ship? (Key = D 8)
F T M R
Q2: What were ships made of? (Key = H 17)
Q I I X
Q3: What shape were sailors plates? (Key = N 21)
O M Q W N A
Q4: Which famous naval commander did Admiral James Alexander Gordon serve under? (Key = X 4)
K B I P L K
Why not have a go at creating your own Cipher Codes for your family to solve?
Download and print the Bee template. Cut out the bee design.
Starting with your bee face down, fold it from corner to corner, so that the small black triangle is at the top.
Time to unfold it again – you should have a nice fold along the middle. Now fold the bottom half up so that it meets the middle fold.
We should be able to unfold and fold again, this time to the fold line before, and then once more.
Now we can begin to start folding our bee. Starting from the smallest fold you made, begin to fold upwards over and over until you get to the half way line.
Great job! Now all we need to do is tuck the two corners into each other and make a nice even circle opening at the front. Tuck the corners in nice and snug. Then, pinching with your fingers and thumbs, try to make the circle as neat as possible.
Your template also contains some black strips for you to use as antennae. Use some sticky tape to hold your folds and antennae in place. You can bend, twist and roll them to whichever shape you like.
Now you’re all ready to take your first flight….
Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust welcomes the news that museums and visitor attractions are able to reopen to visitors from 4 July.
We are actively planning to welcome visitors back to the Dockyard as soon as we are safely able to do so but this will be some time after 4 July.
We will make a further announcement to confirm the exact date as soon as we can.
In the meantime, much of Dockyard life has never stopped. Master Ropemakers has started operating again and we are taking forward bookings for filming, group travel and hospitality, including weddings. Call the Midwife Official Location Tours will resume shortly.
We would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding during this challenging period.
Last updated: 25 June 2020