After months of consideration by Dundee Heritage Trust operating company Dundee Industrial Heritage Limited (DIHL) a project contract agreement was signed in October 2016 between DIHL and T. Nielsen & Company of Gloucester to refurbish the masts, spars and rigging of the RRS Discovery lying at Discovery Point, Dundee. I was appointed Project Manager by DIHL.
The works were complicated in that the intention was to conserve as much of the original materials as was possible, but it was known that renewals and replacements would be required where that was deemed to be necessary. De-rigging began on the 1st of November 2016 and lasted 18 days when the masts, spars and rigging removed were transported down to Nielsen’s yard in Gloucester Docks where the works were to be performed.
The refurbishment of the masts, rigging and associated materials that remained in situ on board the ship took place during April and May of 2017.
Re-rigging was completed on schedule during the first week in July 2017.
The detail of the works performed by T. Nielsen & Company is available elsewhere. The purpose of this testimonial is to record my great admiration of the professionalism and skills demonstrated by the Company during the course of the contract. I cannot recall another occasion during my long working career when I could take such a relaxed approach to managing a project, such was my utter conviction of the expertise, knowledge, methodology and ability of Tommi and his dedicated employees.
I had the privilege of visiting Nielsen’s works in Gloucester before, and during, the course of the contract where I saw how the traditional skills demonstrated by Tommi and his employees are being kept alive for future generations.
I do not believe there is another company in the United Kingdom capable of providing the range of works required during the Discovery Rigging Project on a one-stop-shop basis and I have no hesitation in commending T. Nielsen & Company at the very highest level.
John J Watson
Captain John J Watson OBE, Project Management Services, Historic Wooden Ship Restoration, Dundee.