The intention of the museum was to recognise the art and skills of ropework. The collection includes old and recent ropework and many examples of old tools of the rope and canvas working trades so vital for sailing ships. Ipswich, like many similar maritime towns, would have many Rope Walks where ropes were made for both local and visiting vessels. Des said: “It is hoped that by bringing together all these things, the world will better appreciate the history and skills used in creating such items which have not often been valued, exhibited or studied. The pinnacle of the use of knots and rope can be seen in the work done by sailors, both practical and decorative. In many ways rope and knots can be considered the building blocks of civilisation. Des, a world-renowned authority on ropework and an author, has been consulted on for films, television programmes and many matters where an expert opinion is required.
#KnotsandRopework is a selection of amazing artefacts from Des and Liz Pawson’s ‘Museum of Knot’s and Sailor’s Ropework’ which was opened in 1996 right here in Ipswich.
Rare Early 20th Century Muffled Oarlocks. These are rare examples from an American whaler’s whaleboat of the ropework found on the oarlocks used to quieten the noise of the oars when approaching a whale.