. . they mean a trip to Paris or Rome tra-la-la . . or, in this case, Istanbul – to the historic dockyard, founded in 1861 by the former Ottoman Maritime Company. It lies on the north shore of the Golden Horn in the district of Hasköy. The site, together with the Lengerhane building (which was initially used for casting anchors and chains for the Ottoman navy, during the rule of Ahmet III (1703–1730)) across the road, houses the Rahmi M Koç Museum. This is, in my opinion, one of the finest industrial museums you will ever visit – a world-class establishment!
a reciprocating huff’n’puff
If you love things that go rumble, huff and puff, whirr and whizz, reciprocate, go in and out or up and down, have classic lines, need steam or petrol or oil or oars or sails or . . . whatever, to bring them to life, have knobs and buttons to fiddle with and burnished metal and coachwork to stroke – then I promise you’ll want to take this place home and introduce it to your mother! It is gorgeous!
There are workshops and slipways where real work is carried out to rebuild and refurbish the constantly growing collection. There are toys and models and the real things – you can start and stop a ship’s mighty steam engines and imagine yourself, somewhere, out there, pounding through the world’s oceans to exotic lands and ports, in the days when there were still places waiting to be discovered.
work on the slipway
J and I have been twice now, and we’ll no doubt go again – there is never enough time and there is always more to see – try it for yourself (except on Mondays, of course). Meanwhile enjoy a few photos of the place.
old ‘Invicta’ traction engine built near to where I was born
amazing carved ivory bicycle (bad business but still amazing)
beautiful old 1933 Buick
steam-driven plank saw (more later)
immaculate restoration of steam launch ‘Esra’
tram with stuffed horses and driver
a place of my own
another chuffin’ puffer
There are so many more photos – from planes to submarines to motor cycles to memorabilia from Koc’s round the world sailing trip – better you go and see for yourself. My bet is that you will return time and again. Finally, here is a bit of video of heaven on earth for old boffers like me – when I shuffle off this mortal coil I hope they stuff me and park me at the bench, taps and dies in hand!
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü