Mike McD writes: 27 April – Following our meeting on the Monday evening, Peter, who had already met Alec Jordan, the boat ‘producer’, and Robbie Whiteman, chair of the newly formed SCRA, sent an e-mail to each of them. He asked Robbie if he could provide advice on funding sources, and Alec, if it would be possible to make a date for some of us to see the Anstruther boat. I went off to do some more advertising for the public meeting.
This is rather a belated post – my apologies to Mike McD! But I thought it would be good to keep his posts on the website for posterity. Over to Mike…
As you all know we celebrated 9th birthday of Ferry Lass’s launch on 17th this month.
I was reminded by Peter L some time ago that, on this day (26 April) ten years ago, he and I met for the first time, down at Antico, to chat about the potential for building a St Ayles skiff in Queensferry. Having been told by Sheena Mackay about an article in the weekend Scotsman, I had already raised some awareness locally, and placed an advert in the Journal & Gazette calling a public meeting (see below). Peter had actually seen the Anstruther boat at the Scottish Parliament, when he manhandled it in for the MSPs to see. We both confirmed our absolute enthusiasm for getting the project off the ground.
The following week the J&G did a story about the project and our public meeting was held … But all that’s to come. Look out for further bulletins as the exciting story unfolds over the year – in ‘ON THIS DAY … ‘
Peter adds: I am of course aware of the date, as I walked past Orocco Pier this morning. I called Mike before I saw his email post. We had intended to be at the bar this evening to mark the occasion and ask members to come along and buy us a pint!! It has been an exciting journey this past 10 years or more and I feel privileged to have been involved. After my meeting with Mike that is when it all came together with his knowledge and experience and as I have said before, his wonderful group of friends: John Howell, Ranald and Sheena, Stuart Ridge, Stuart and Barbara Mitchell, the late Alan Meldrum (Mel), and also the late John Watson, together with Malcolm Meikle – who led the build of our first skiff, Ferry Lass – and many more, whose names may come out of the woodwork during the posts that Mike is going to put out. Also a mention for a quiet guy, Graham Leith, who was our first Secretary and came to us from the Rotary.
As you will know, Covid-19 has put paid to plans for a relay row around the coast of Scotland to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Scottish Coastal Rowing. However, the organisers are not downhearted, and a digital RowAround is under way.
You can follow progress on the website linked above – there’s a map that shows the sections completed, and clicking on them takes you to a collection of words and photos celebrating that section.
The first section, Annan to Bowness, includes a beautiful story about a mermaid read by the RowAround storyteller, Jan Bee Brown. There’s also a history of the Bell Raid, and some lovely notes from the Annan ladies, including this one:
The first time I tried rowing was in the ‘Pride of Annan’ on Castle Loch at Lochmaben. I was in the bow doing quite well, following the stroke, listening to the cox when a swan came into land on the water on the port side; I was transfixed. I completely lost timing and ‘caught a crab’ ending up like a sheep on its back with my legs in the air. Thankfully nobody had a camera so my embarrassment was not recorded for posterity. — Christine M.