Build and row as community

Rowing skiff on River Aln.
Rowing skiff on River Aln.

A north Northumberland village has been bitten by the latest bug to sweep the seaside areas of the country – coastal rowing.

A new group has been set up in Alnmouth and the inaugural meeting takes place tomorrow night in the village.

As seen on national television on Sunday night, in coastal areas, especially in Scotland, communities have come together to build and row traditional-style wooden boats for recreaction and competition.

They have shown that building a boat together is fun and that rowing can be for everyone, not just for blues and Olympians.

It’s a cheap, friendly and healthy way to enjoy the outdoors and get on the water.

A six-minute segment on BBC One’s Countryfile at the weekend saw presenter James Wong found out about the skiffs and those racing them in Fife.

Now, enthusiasts in the Almouth Bay area want to join the success of communities in Eyemouth and Newcastle who have built their own kit boats for community use.

With this in mind, they have formed the Alnmouth Bay Community Rowing Association and will hold their first meeting tomorrow at 7.30pm in the Hindmarsh Hall.

All are welcome to come along and hear about this exciting community project for men and women of all ages who want to join in both building and rowing a traditional wooden boat.

Already youngsters from the local Explorer Scouts group are helping the new association in a number of ways and will be on had at the meeting to serve refreshments.

The first phase of this community project is to build a St Ayles rowing skiff, the type of four-oared traditional-style boat adopted by the governing body, the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association – www.scottish

Once the Alnmouth Bay group has the funds to buy a boat kit, it can plan the build.

If there is sufficient support, boat-building can begin soon and the first boat could be launched for the 2014 season.

For more information, call 01665 577 385.