Published curator to lead Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust’s Ropery renovation

Published Naval Curator Nick Ball has joined Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust as Collections, Galleries and Interpretation Manager, ahead of renovations to its Ropery gallery.

Joining the team from the National Museum of the Royal Navy and National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Nick is responsible for the care of the Trust’s museum collections and interpretive galleries, ensuring they are available to The Historic Dockyard Chatham’s visitors in relevant and high quality virtual and actual presentations.

Aligned with the Trust’s charitable purposes of preservation and learning, the new role will also see Nick lead on developing knowledge and understanding of collections and of Chatham’s naval role and significance. He will also support the development of both on-site and digital exhibition and interpretation projects and programmes through provision of content, collections and expertise.

Commenting on his appointment, Nick said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Trust at such a pivotal time – the Dockyard continues to provide outstanding collections and galleries to visitors, while building on its digital interpretations.”  

 “My first gallery renovation project is a fantastic opportunity to delve into the collections and display some of the wonderful rope related artefacts that tell the story of the Historic Dockyard’s working ropery.”

“The collections team will also be installing the new Diving Deep exhibition, this immersive exhibition showcases objects and findings from the Invincible 1744 archaeological excavation. It aims to tell the story of the amazing Invincible, her capture, the contribution she made to the Royal Navy and ship design and her subsequent sinking and rediscovery nearly 200 years later.”

A graduate in MA Maritime Archaeology from the University of Southern Denmark, Nick’s publications include ‘Navy Board Ship Models’, Seaforth, (2018); ‘Digital Modelling in the Evaluation of the Sinking of HMS Victory’, (2016) and he contributed to the ‘Treasures of Royal Museums Greenwich’, National Maritime Museum, (2018).

Nick’s career as a former Archaeological Data Manager and Curator has seen him accomplish professional and personal goals through continued learning. On winning a national Curatorial award, he was awarded an Art Fund grant to travel to Australia to give a research paper at the Western Australian Maritime Museum and conduct research on the history of the Royal Navy and Australia.

In recent years, Nick was responsible for curating the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s new £1.2m HMS Victory Gallery and developing the Victory Information Model (VIM) 3D digital model to manage archaeological data.

As an active member of the Society for Nautical Research, and a former member of the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee, Nick has helped develop strategies for preserving underwater cultural heritage.

Nick splits his time between Chatham and his home in Portsmouth and is a keen sailor, having recently sailed with the replica Swedish East Indiaman the ‘Gotheborg’.