When these shipwright mates weren't busy building ships at the Chatham Dockyard, they would practice their skills at having a tug-of-war. They must have been well practiced because on August 10, 1911, they won the coveted LAMB'S CHALLENGE SHIELD. The team, the big impressive shield and the long thick rope are all gathered in this original sepia photograph, framed in glass.
The wood frame measures 17 1/2 inches across by 16 inches high. The photo is matted and measures 12 by 10 inches. The names of the shipwrights are under their portrait. The folded arms tell you that these men mean business. Two do not have a mustache so that was not a qualification for rope pulling.
The photograph has a few spots of foxing around the edge of photo's backing. The image is still crisp and in excellent antique condition.
Historic note - The Chatham Dockyards covered 400 acres and was one of the British Royal Navy's main facilities for several hundred years until it was closed in 1984. There remains 80 acres today that comprise the 18th century core of the site. It was transferred to a charity called the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and is now open as a visitor attraction. It claims to be the world’s most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail.
We're pretty certain that these men helped build the HMS Chatham which was a Town-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. It was launched on November 9, 1911 from Chatham Dockyard, just a few months after the big win. She was the lead ship of the Chatham subgroup.
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