Dapdune Wharf is a wharf on the Wey and Godalming Navigations at Guildford, Surrey. It was originally a major site of barge building in the area and is now maintained by the National Trust.
The Visitor Centre has interactive displays, a smithy, a stable, and two of the only three remaining Wey barges in the world including the Reliance, permanently damaged and kept in a dry dock. The Reliance was one of the original barges to be built at Dapdune Wharf in 1931-32 and, after repair and refurbishment in 2008, is now a rare example of Guildford’s industrial heritage.
We used projected imagery and an audio delivery system to convey the history of the barge in an atmospheric and evocative way. A 20-minute soundscape takes the visitor through the life of the Reliance, from its construction and launch, through its working time on the water – passing through locks and travelling along the route to Leigh on Sea and then to London – and finally on to the collision with Canon Street Bridge in 1968 that signalled the end of this varied career.
The interpretation is focused on creating an evocative atmosphere, recalling memories, rather than on delivering factual information. The projection inside the hold of the Reliance uses archive imagery to tell the story of the people who lived and worked on the Navigations.
We installed all the hardware and commissioned it on-site, providing the client with a full operational manual.