Former employee launches ropemaking business after closure of Hawes company

Caroline Rodgers.

A former employee of Outhwaites ropemakers has launched her own business following the closure of the Hawes company.

Askrigg Ropemakers has been opened by local woman Caroline Rodgers.

Caroline started work for Outhwaites in 2016.

She said: “I worked in the hotel trade up until 2016 when the late Peter Annison from Outhwaites asked me if I wanted to apply for a position that had just come up.

“It meant no nights and weekends and Christmas and new year off – guess that swung it for me.”

Caroline said she learnt so much from Peter and the staff at Outhwaites.

“I was absolutely devastated when I found out we were been made redundant and Outhwaites was to close its doors for good.

“That’s when I knew I couldn’t let the area lose its heritage.

“Me and my partner decided I should purchase the machines I needed to set up my own rope making business so   he area didn’t lose that heritage.

“This is so exciting for me as I’m so passionate about what I do.”

Caroline believes she is the only women in the UK that owns her own rope making business

Askrigg Ropemakers was recently approved for a £1,000 grant from Richmondshire District Council to help its launch.

Caroline says she plans to make products including dog leads, cattle halters, lead ropes, skipping ropes and cow ties.

Outhwaites opened in a workshop next to Hawes Station – now the Dales Countryside Museum – in 1905, although other families had produced rope in the town in the Georgian and Victorian eras.

For more information on Askrigg Ropemakers visit