Dawe’s Heritage Lottery Funded Restoration 2017

english_compact_blackIn September 2016, volunteers at The Coker Rope & Sail Trust were delighted to learn that their application for funds to restore the remainder of Dawe’s Twineworks had been successful.

Progress is shown here.  Click on any photo to see it full size. The latest Photos are at the top. Aaron and Jason (who carried out the restoration of the main walk roof and other buildings in 2013-14) are back again, working hard, as is the Machinery Team (Chris, David and David) and other volunteers.

With the engine house complete – everywhere now has power and lights – attention moved to the north side. A fence was built along the edge of the strip of land generously leased to us by David Windsor. The strip was cleared of undergrowth and tree stumps, the earth was reprofiled, and a drain was laid under the surface. Further drains have been laid under the main walk to take water to the stream. The brick retaining walls on the north side have been rebuilt, as has the old original size boiler.  Bricklayer Grant even tested it. All the 42 inner posts supporting the main walk have now been repaired or replaced and given new foundations.  We now have gutters.

July 26th was a Big Day as the walk was finally unveiled WITHOUT scaffolding.  All the posts, trusses, joists and floors have been repaired or, in a few cases, replaced. Now we can see the whole walk as it should be.

The machinery team has restored a second twine treatment idler and a twisting head frame. They have also restored three further treatment machines and put back the two which were outside – removed in the 1980s.  With the walk now clear, they can turn attention to setting up twisting and treating demonstrations over the full length of the walk.

The Trust’s old documents and books are now properly stored and arranged in ouor ‘Archive Building’.  Local historian Richard Sims is using the Archive for a book on Coker Canvas. He is also, with museums in Crewkerne, Bridport and Beaminster compiling a book of walks to visit old sites of the twine, rope and canvas industries

The Trust is preparing to seek tenders to replace the old condemned bungalow with a new visitor centre in a style to match the old buildings.  Architect Paul Ferdinand has  produced the Visitor Centre design and drawings, and a Planning Approval application has been submitted.

With the main walk cleared we have been able to set out a complete working twine-treatment lane all along the ground floor of the walk with 24 loops of twine – 4000m in all. See HERE

On October 23rd, we were visited by Helen Wheatley of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and she started the first full length twine twisting process since 1968.  See HERE

TWINEWORKS MODEL 3 D model view 1