Having hosted his own Museum of Knots and Sailors’ Ropework in his Ipswich back garden since 1996 the red-capped sage-of-sennit Des Pawson had another knotty problem to solve… Namely what to do with the hundreds of exhibits when he gets too old to look after them? The collection spans decades of dedication to all things to do with ropework, especially by sailors, and covers centuries of knowledge most of it from the heydays of sail.
Chatham Historic Dockyard is going to take on the collection, and Des is digitally cataloguing items to make them more relevant to online searches by any future students or savants of the subject. The collection is certainly impressive and it would be good if Chatham could find an area to display some of the items so that people can chance upon a pastime that sailors developed from being purely utilitarian – in terms of simply tying things up – to what is arguably an art-form in its own right.
The main image shows Des in his workshed. Video and photos by Dan Houston.
You can see more at despawson.com