Wednesday 18 March 2020
THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD AT CHATHAM
Following many requests we have decided to revisit the historic dockyard at Chatham.
Established in Chatham in the middle of the 16th century, at a time when additional defences were required because relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened following the Reformation, the Dockyard came into existence to build ships for the Royal Navy. For 414 years Chatham Royal Dockyard provided over 500 ships for the Royal Navy and was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology. At its height it employed over 10,000 skilled artisans and covered 400 acres. The Dockyard closed in 1984 and 84 acres are now managed as a visitor attraction by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. HMS Victory and HMS Temeraire were amongst vessels launched from the Dockyard.
On arrival we will enjoy a coffee and a pastry (included) before returning to the coach where we will be given a 45 minute guided tour of the site. From the coach fans of the TV drama ‘Call the Midwife’ may well recognise some of the settings from that series. Following this, at 12.15 we will take the Victorian Ropery tour and “learn the ropes” with a foreman from 1875 and discover why the enormous double Ropewalk is nearly a quarter of a mile long. Rope has been made here for 400 years and it is still made today for many customers.
Lunch can then be taken at your own leisure in either the Mess Deck Restaurant or the Wagon Stop, the latter mainly serving snacks and sandwiches. Equally, you can take your own picnic. Included in our ticket is the opportunity to visit HM Submarine Ocelot, the last submarine built at Chatham for the Royal Navy and this can be done in the afternoon, coupled with many other attractions on offer.
We will be leaving at 4.00pm when the site closes.
Leaders: Sue Willis (07973 507338) and Sheila Knight (07811 085917)
Please use these numbers only in an emergency on the day of the trip.
PLEASE NOTE COACH DEPARTURE TIMES
8.30 am Brockham
8.40 am Dorking Halls
8.45 am Opposite Waitrose
8.50 am Bus Stop near Knoll Road