A Bit of Old Rope

This interesting article has been collated by Jim D on a visit to Donaghys Rope Making Facility in Dunedin.  No he was not smoking rope….  The museum and art gallery were closed.  Thanks Jim for your contribution.

I was privileged to be invited to Donaghy Industries Ltd today by the Southern Heritage Trust to observe the last old-fashioned rope-making machine run through its paces. The SHT will take over the 380 metre rope-walker (tunnel) part of the complex and turn it in to a working museum. Donaghy’s started off rope making in Dunedin in 1876 and has donated the rope-walker part of the complex and machinery to the SHT. A lot of the RNZN’s ropes came from this Company. The SHT has to shift part of the machinery out of the main complex and into the tunnel.


The 380m rope-walker starts from just past this building that juts out – Bathgate Park to the left.



Capture3A concrete wall will be put up at the start of the tunnel


This machine is called the traveller and the strands were connected to the hooks. As the traveller moved, the hook part rotated and the strands formed to make a rope.



This section here is the difficult part that has to be dismantled and shifted into the tunnel.

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2 Responses to A Bit of Old Rope

  1. Jim D says:

    In case you haven’t figured it out, Donaghys is in Dunedin…

  2. gunther says:

    when I was a kid we used to play rugby at Bathgate park, and sometimes some of us would get to have a look in the building, can always remember these long strands of rope being worked. interesting place.

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