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Author Topic: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723  (Read 18469 times)

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Offline Janetlinda56

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 19:24:22 »
My nan worked in the colour loft in the 60's, she was part of the tean that made the flag for Prince Charles  when he was invested as the Prince of Wales.

Offline mmitch

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 19:16:40 »
It's a pity that at least one floor can't be preserved with some machines. When I went round the 'Wooden Walls' exhibition I wondered if any of the sail lofts still existed.
mmitch.

Fred the Needle

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 16:58:49 »
Re post #7, amongst the items I saw in there, there was a pack of business cards. When we go back in there, I'll check to see who the last flag and sailmaking business in there was.

Funny, I never got a business card from them (at least there isn't one in my file - I've hand written the details in).  WHile you're looking,see if there's a card from a company called Bainbridge International ;-)

davidt

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 21:13:44 »
Chatham Bowling Club had a new club flag made there about 15 years ago, but I can't remember the name of the company which made the flag. Probably must have been The Admirals Original Flagloft Ltd.

I've seen a picture of that chalked up message in one of Bilgerat's photos in a book about the dockyard. I always wondered where it was. Assuming it's the original it's lasted well!

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 19:19:13 »
Re post #7, amongst the items I saw in there, there was a pack of business cards. When we go back in there, I'll check to see who the last flag and sailmaking business in there was.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Fred the Needle

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 12:21:52 »
I stand to be corrected here, but I think the top floor was until recently (ok, at least 10 years ago) operated by a company called "The Admirals Original Flagloft Ltd, Church lane, Chatham Historic Dockyard, ME4 4TF".  It was operated by Peter and Barbara Cornwall.

The company was owned by United Flag Traders of Llansamlet, Swansea who closed it down when times got tough and moved production to the Swansea site - I think that's closed now too.

Offline helcion

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 07:35:38 »
Bilgerat    -

Quote
And heres a poignant one. Don't know if this is original or was done, but its in a side room in the attic

The World Ship Society used to use the attic for storage as well as a room on the entrance level, at the top of the steps, until we transferred to the Receiving Room complex.

I can confirm that the message was there in the late 90s.

cheers

Helcion

Offline cliveh

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 07:12:52 »
Thanks for the great pics Bilgerat. It's great to see what the inside looks like. I do envy you having access to these historic buildings!  :)

cliveh

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 23:58:41 »
And heres a poignant one. Don't know if this is original or was done later, but its in a side room in the attic

"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 22:27:47 »
Had the opportunity to go in here today, so I thought I'd take some pics. The building has four floors, the basement, as already mentioned, is converted to offices. The middle two floors were used for production, with an attic which contained workshops and has a skylight running the length of the building. The lower of the two production floors was used by the flag and sail making company which went bust in 2005. Oddly enough, it is still exactly as it was left, almost as though the employess expected to be back in work the next day. There are half-made flags still on the machine tables, sails which are obviously either being repaired or made. Here are some pics I took whilst in there today. The building has been closed to the public since the flag loft closed. It was most recently used to accomodate the wardrobe and makeup departments during the filming of Sherlock Holmes 2 last year,

View along the attic


Fire-fighting gear in the attic. The valve and hose are long gone.


More fire-fighting gear in the attic


The gantry in the attic, used for lifting heavy items up through the building via trap doors in the floors


The upper floor, long since cleared out. All the sowing machines and tables are stored in a small room at one end of the building


The upper floor again. The chair in the middle of the picture sits on one of the trap doors.


These pics are of the lower floor. Note the bracing, reinforcing the floor above. Also, note the machines still in place.
Sail making tables, with sails left in place from when the place closed.


Flag-making tables with machines and work left as though they expected to be back in work the next day. The sowing machines are original Dockyard machines, with their yard numbers on brass plaques.



Hooks and cleats like this are arranged all along the sides of both manufacturing floors, presumably for supporting sails while they had their associated fixtures and fittings (like cringles, eyes, reefing points etc) attached. In the latter half of the 19th century, when iron ships like HMS Achilles were built, the sails they made in this building must have been huge, much larger than sails for earlier 18th Century ships like Victory or Valiant.



All this is going to be disappearing soon as the upper three floors are going to be stripped out and converted to office space. All the heritage stuff, like the sowing machines and tables are to be put into storage and preserved.

"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 19:23:05 »
The basement is now divided up and rented out as offices for a couple of businesses. Not sure what the upper floors are used for now, but during the filming of Sherlock Holmes 2, the wardrobe department was based there.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline cliveh

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The Sail & Colour Loft. Built 1723
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 09:43:31 »
During the Age of Sail the sails for all of the ships built and refitted at Chatham were made in this building. The upper floor provided a large space to lay out the sails as they were made or repaired whilst the lower floors provided storage space.

During the 18th Century "Ladies of the Flag" were employed to make signal flags in the building.

Many of the structural beams were made from re-used warship timbers.







cliveh

 

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