Proud moment as club launches its new skiff

The official launch of the skiff. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos
The official launch of the skiff. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

Craster Coastal Rowing Club launched its new skiff at the weekend, in front of a crowd of hundreds of people.

The rowing boat, known as a St Ayles skiff, has been built by people from Craster and surrounding villages, following various donations and grants.

Club members take the skiff for a row. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

Club members take the skiff for a row. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

The smart-looking vessel is called The Jolly Fisherman, after the popular village pub. It was officially named by the venue’s owner Jan Carty last Sunday during its official unveiling at Craster harbour.

Skiffs from Amble, Alnmouth, Blyth, Gateshead and Whitburn turned out to help celebrate the launch.

The Craster skiff, which seats four rowers plus a cox, will be used for regular rowing sessions from the harbour and it is hoped that it will become a valuable community asset.

A meeting will be held this Sunday in Craster Memorial Hall at 10am for existing members and any adults wishing to become a member. This will be followed by a morning of rowing. Membership is £20 per rower and £10 for a social member.

She floats! The skiff in the water. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

She floats! The skiff in the water. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

Michael Doherty, from the rowing club, said: “About a year ago, local fisherman Andrew Hogg suggested that we build a skiff and join nearby villages in rowing on the sea.

“Taking up this idea, a group of people from Craster got together to raise funds needed for the build. The Jolly Fisherman pub offered to help us purchase the materials needed to start building and we were allowed to use the old Methodist chapel which is currently empty. The build took seven months.

“We hope the skiff and the rowing club will become assets to our community and help to promote health, wellbeing and good community values. We hope that launching the skiff heralds a great future for our rowing club.”

Funding for the skiff has come from Craster Parish Council, Northumberland Community Chest, Craster Community Trust, Coastal Cottages, Sykes Cottages, MKM Building Supplies, Washington Components Ltd, Washington Metal Works Ltd and The Jolly Fisherman.

Skiffs from other clubs joined in with the celebrations. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos

Skiffs from other clubs joined in with the celebrations. Picture by Andy Cowan Photos