Video, English, 7 min. 2013
Full video on Vimeo here
This short video uses video footage and audio recordings from the everyday activities which occur within the Chatham Historic Dockyard, in the UK. It is an exploration of the impact of passing time upon the dockyard’s industry and the lives of its workers.
After its closure in 1984 the site of the dockyard changed irrevocably. Today it primarily serves as a tourist attraction. This video features rope-making which, while still carried on today, amounts to a small fraction of the activity which took place on the site for over 200 years. The voice of a worker within today’s Ropery recalls the dockyard of yesterday, while tending one of the disused machines in the attic of the building. In contrast we can see and hear some of the present activities of Turk’s Yard, part of the original site - the scrubbing of slipways, the noises of steel and heavy machinery. We see the labour still involved with the ships that arrive, stay for a while, and then sail back along the River Medway.
The clock belongs to the Dockyard’s bell tower, a clock which ticked while thousands of workers toiled in the dockyards of yesterday and continues to tick today, a symbol of continuity, but also of inevitable change.