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.
Peter writes: Even although she is upside down suspended in maintenance for now I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow, 17 April, is the 9th anniversary of the launch of our lovely Ferry Lass. I look forward to us all being together again but for now, if you feel inclined to be having a wee glass of something raise a toast to our first skiff!
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.
As many of you will know, Dónal has been entertaining us for the past couple of weeks on Facebook with a Daily Tune. He’s very kindly uploaded them to YouTube so we can enjoy them whenever we need cheering up. Thanks, Dónal! Here are the tunes so far, in no particular order:
Tune of the Day number 6 is Fanny Power. This tune was written in the early 1700s by the Great Irish Harpist Turlough O’Carolan for the daughter of his benefactors, her name was Frances Power
Tune of the Day number 8, Tabhair dom do Lámh (Give me your hand), was written by a musician by the name of Ruairi Dáll Ó’Catháin (1570-1650).