Tuesday, February 4

The New Dockyard

Workmen in Bermuda, waterclour by Thomas Driver
While at my leisure in Bermuda, several of us decided to go over to Ireland Island to have a look at the new Naval Dockyard being constructed there. It is our understanding that the dockyard is being moved from Castle Harbour (located at the Eastern side) to Ireland Island (located on the Western side) so as to better defend against possible attack from the United States.

We arrived to find construction well under way, workmen and carts were everywhere and all were busy about their various tasks. I was quite surprised to discover how many prisoners had been employed in the construction effort, they being immediately identifiable by their heavy gray smocks emblazoned with the King's broad arrow, marking them as the King's property.

"Where do you suppose the buildings will be going?" Mr. Midshipman Raley asked as we puzzled over the site of the construction.

"I'm afraid I can hardly say." replied I as two Royal Engineers approached us atop the hill overlooking the work.

They greeted us in a cordial enough manner, though from their looks, I should suspect had we not been adorned in our uniforms, they would have dealt with our intrusion quite severely.

They warmed up presently, and were kind enough to point out to us the foundations of some of the buildings that were planned for the new Dockyard. As it was, I could hardly identify anything, every surface was covered in a layer of mud that ran right down to the shore and seemed to extend even into the sea. A rainy winter and the many feet of horses and construction workers conspired to keep the ground thick in mud.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of the broad arrow, its use dates back to at least the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth - and it is still in use to this day. When I was in the British Army, the bunks were stamped with a tiny, unobtrusive broad arrow on the bed-frame.

    It has to be one of the longest-served logos in the world.