Coquet Spirit takes to the waves
There has been boat building on the banks of the River Coquet since the dawn of time. Or perhaps to be more accurate, at the very least since the end of the eighteenth century, when boats were hand built on the Braid.
In keeping with this tradition, a community boat-building project is looking to inspire a new generation of builders and rowers.
And it has drawn the interest of TV star Robson Green, who lent a hand in the building and racing of the new Amble boat Coquet Spirit for his new primetime TV programme.
Building the St Ayles skiff began at Easter, and the hard work paid off as Amble Community Rowing Club launched the beautiful hand built boat at Lifeboat Day at the end of August.
Robson Green, joined the Coquet Spirit crew in their first race at the beginning of September. The race between skiffs from Amble, Blyth, North Berwick and Gosforth rowing clubs was filmed in the Friendliest Port for the second series of ITV’s “Tales from Northumberland”.
Launch and Blessing
Club leader Rob Angus was delighted with the launch of the St Ayles skiff.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day for our launch. The support and well wishes we received from everyone was heart warming and we were honoured by the number of people who followed us down to the water’s edge for the naming,” he said.
Rev Diane Westmoreland of St Cuthbert’s church and Rev Lynda Coulthard of Trinity Methodists blessed the skiff with water from the Sea of Galilee, and, as is tradition with the naming ceremony, a drop of (Alnwick) rum.
“We very much hope that Amble’s first community rowing skiff will give loads of local people that chance to get involved and that the club becomes a good ambassador for Amble,” said Rob.
The group have the materials and funds to start work on a second skiff, and are looking for anyone who may be interested in helping to build. The goal is to have the second skiff on the water in time for the Puffin Festival next year so there can be a race day between local teams.
“How about a team from the local Police verses a team from Amble dentists for heat 1 and postmen/women versus the coastguards for heat 2, all in uniform of course?” suggested Rob.
“We are also on the lookout for temporary premises in which to build the second boat as our short term loan of the Flow Mill has now come to an end. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated”.