Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Coracle

A boat one can pick up and carry, the ultimate in portable transportation.  We passed the time of day with this man carrying his coracle down to the River Severn in preparation for the annual Ironbridge Regatta in August which always includes a coracle race.  Despite the fact that Wales is the first place I think of  in association with coracles Shropshire seems to be a coracle hot spot with world championships and coracle making courses put on by the Small Woods Association.

This simple design of a flat bottomed boat made of willow and a waterproof skin has been used for thousands of years but they differ in style from place to place to accommodate different river conditions.  The Rogers family made coracles here by the River Severn for generations, the last of them, Eustace Rogers, died in 2003 and the shed where they were created lay empty and decaying, however the sum of money required to restore and repair the shed to tell the story of the Rogers family and coracle making was recently raised by the Ironbridge Coracle Society.  Until the volunteers put in the hours of work there is a website to browse called - the coracle shed.

These craft are notoriously difficult to control for the amateur as they sit on the water rather than in it and are known for being unstable, however a fisherman can row one of these with one hand while the other hand manages the net with ease.

Here is an old postcard of a rather full looking River Towy over the border in Wales and its coracle men in and out of the water.
         
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week mooring up at C here


6 comments:

Leslie: said...

Oh my gosh, that looks like fun, but I'd need a life jacket for when I went over! LOL

Leslie
abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

Or you could carry it as a shield.


ROG, ABCW

Photo Cache said...

Wow, I learned a new word today, thanks.

My ABC WEDNESDAY

Trubes said...

I remember seeing men in coracles fishing on the River Severn, when I was a child, We were on a day out in Shropshire with our Sunday School, this event was The Annual Sunday School Picnic.
We sat on the edge of the river having our picnic whilst the men fished,
When we were back at Sunday School the following week we had to write a story about St Peter the Fisher of Men and link it to the trip and the men in coracles.
I can't remember what I wrote but recall getting a gold star for my efforts,

Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

my nephews in Australia have a lightly bigger boat, tinny. I didn't want to go on it.

Fritz Ant said...

Looks like a little Dingy is what we call our really small boats here.