Coal hole plate made in Southwark

Lost Industries of Southwark Education Resources

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Worksheet 11 - Using Document 11

Rope and sailcloth making




1. Look very carefully at the 19th century diagram of how a piece of rope is twisted. Try to follow the same process yourself, using whatever suitable materials that are available to you.

2. What materials are used today for making rope? Can you find any modern ones that would not have been invented in the Victorian period?

3. What was the difference between rope for outside use, in all weathers, and rope for indoor use only?

4. Apart from being made in the same factory, what was the connection between rope-making and sail-making?

5. What does the expression 'money for old rope' mean to you? Write a story, set in the 18th or 19th century, with this title.

6. Try to find as many uses for rope, new and old, in times before our own. The uses can be everyday, scary, disgusting or anything you can think of! To start you off: 'In the 18th century, poor people often used old rope as toilet paper. In working people's taverns, rope would hang from the ceiling of the privy. The dirty end would eventually be washed or cut off and thrown away.'


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