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Author Topic: Steps adjacent to Dock Road  (Read 831 times)

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Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2017, 16:56:28 »
Thanks for everyone's replies, very interesting and the very reason I love this forum !
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Offline Lyn L

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 12:32:39 »
Well now that Signals 99 has mentioned Naval personnel, maybe that's where I'd heard about the gateways. My late hubby would have told me and I'd forgotten that bit. He was RN and maybe even later had used those entrances ? I shall never know now. He left the RN in 1969.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 10:50:22 »
Medway Dweller.
You were not actually allocated a Gate to gain entry to the Yard, you were free to enter at which ever Gate suited you best. You were however allocated to specific clocking on or muster station within the Yard and this was usually close to your place of work. This was fine for those who had a fixed place to work e.g. The Factory or Boiler Shop etc but those who worked afloat had to follow the ship as it were. An extreme example but possible, if  your ship was at the Bulls Nose, and you entered via Main Gate, you still had 1 1/2 miles to go to clock on.

Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 10:32:20 »
Thanks for the replies everyone. There was me assuming everyone would have arrived and left via either the Gillingham, Pembroke or Main Gates but considering the sheer number of personnel involved at the yard's peak that may not have been practical. I definitely want to walk that way again to look for any signs of those previous entrances.

It's amazing those handrails still exist, they look very strange all lined up but leading to nowhere. Love these ghostly reminders of the yard's previous glorious past.

Whilst on the subject, does anybody know how dockyard personnel were allocated a particular gate? I guess it was dependent on their trade and or basin.
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Offline Signals99

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 10:25:46 »
Hi all, those steps led to an entrance for controlled entry ,each entrance had a turnstile type control . If you look above that area on the wall there used to be the remains of a housing that held a clock,it was used often as an entry area for Navy personel who arrived in large numbers,IE new intakes to HMS Pembroke , replacement ships staff(crews in those days) I'm talking about ww2 era when it was not unusual to have intakes of a hundred or more draftees arrive at any time night or day ,I think the idea was to be able to check indevidual personel ,and to prevent the mass influx I interfering with normal traffick flow through the main gate.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 21:35:46 »
That makes sense - they don't seem to be featured on pre-war maps, so perhaps they were a temporary measure? I must have passed by here many times before the Dockyard closed, but can't remember seeing any activity - unlike Pembroke Gate where knocking off time was like the start of the California gold rush. :)

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 17:27:34 »
As a young lad I heard that these entrances were put in during WW2 to provide a more controlled access into the dockyard for security purposes.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 16:36:16 »
That is correct, there were originally gates into the dockyard in the wall there. I've seen a postcard of huge numbers of menn massing there to enter, but sadly don't have a copy of it in my collection yet.
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Offline smiffy

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 13:58:50 »
I'm fairly sure that this has been mentioned somewhere on the forum before and that it may have been a muster station which has been bricked up, as Lyn L has noted.

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 13:32:57 »
Medway Dweller,
If you look on GE, you can see the bricked up doorways.
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Offline Lyn L

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Re: Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 13:30:37 »
I think the steps led down to gateways for the Dockyard workers. There would be too many people trying to get in the Main Gate.

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Offline MedwayDweller

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Steps adjacent to Dock Road
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 10:30:07 »
Hi all,

Was walking from Chatham towards Brompton along Dock Road, just approaching Dockyard Main Gate. I noticed leading down from the path on the left were steps, around 3 sets in total. They led down to what was overgrown waste ground which eventually came up to the dockyard perimeter wall. Further down there were also handrails, again leading down to nothing. Anyone have any idea what purpose these once served?

There seems so little space that I am mystified what this space could once have been used for and needed to get to.
nostalgia's not what it used to be

 

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