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013 The Rope Walk, Mulgrave Street

The making of rope in the not-too-distant past consisted of literally walking the threads from one end to the other. Our Rope Walk was situated across from St. JosephÕs Mental Hospital. When the rope walk was described by Mr. Joseph Keyes in the Limerick Leader of Wednesday, May 23, 1945, he said that this industry was well over 100 years in existence, and Òis still in production, which is testimony to the quality of the goods produced there.Ó
Perhaps a few words on how ropes are made may be of interest. He went on: ÒThe walk is over 100 yards long, completely covered in, so that work may go on in all kinds of weather. Along the centre are placed a number of wooden pillars at regular intervals and from these extend arms or brackets on which the ropes rest while being manufactured. Before the war the raw material, jute and hemp, arrived in bulk, like wool, and the rope maker, having wound a lot of it around his waist, fixed a small portion to a wheel, which was turned by another man. The rope maker then walked backwards, giving out the hemp slowly so that it was gradually twisted into a cord. This work required very considerable skill, so that a uniform amount of material was let out, otherwise one part would be too thick and another too thin. When a large number of these strands were ready the actual rope making commenced. The required number Ð 2, 3, or 4 Ð were taken and fixed onto the shell already referred to, or to a similar one, which is mounted on four wheels. A large block of wood called a top is then used with each strand passing through a separate hole and brought out through one at the end. They are then fastened to the wheel, and while one man turns this rapidly another pushes the top forward, thus bringing the strands together so that, going in as three or four, they emerge as a firm, well made rope. Of course, there are other details to be attended to but this is the main part of the manufacture,Ó Mr. Keyes concluded. Rope making in that way finished i
013 The Rope Walk, Mulgrave Street

013 The Rope Walk, Mulgrave Street

The making of rope in the not-too-distant past consisted of literally walking the threads from one end to the other. Our Rope Walk was situated across from St. JosephÕs Mental Hospital. When the rope walk was described by Mr. Joseph Keyes in the Limerick Leader of Wednesday, May 23, 1945, he said that this industry was well over 100 years in existence, and Òis still in production, which is testimony to the quality of the goods produced there.Ó
Perhaps a few words on how ropes are made may be of interest. He went on: ÒThe walk is over 100 yards long, completely covered in, so that work may go on in all kinds of weather. Along the centre are placed a number of wooden pillars at regular intervals and from these extend arms or brackets on which the ropes rest while being manufactured. Before the war the raw material, jute and hemp, arrived in bulk, like wool, and the rope maker, having wound a lot of it around his waist, fixed a small portion to a wheel, which was turned by another man. The rope maker then walked backwards, giving out the hemp slowly so that it was gradually twisted into a cord. This work required very considerable skill, so that a uniform amount of material was let out, otherwise one part would be too thick and another too thin. When a large number of these strands were ready the actual rope making commenced. The required number Ð 2, 3, or 4 Ð were taken and fixed onto the shell already referred to, or to a similar one, which is mounted on four wheels. A large block of wood called a top is then used with each strand passing through a separate hole and brought out through one at the end. They are then fastened to the wheel, and while one man turns this rapidly another pushes the top forward, thus bringing the strands together so that, going in as three or four, they emerge as a firm, well made rope. Of course, there are other details to be attended to but this is the main part of the manufacture,Ó Mr. Keyes concluded. Rope making in that way finished i