Rowing membership on the rise on the high seas

New members John Taylor and Mac and Jane McHugh.
New members John Taylor and Mac and Jane McHugh.

Following the publicity generated by the Pride of Aln’s maiden voyage with the Duchess of Northumberland last month, membership of the Alnmouth Bay Community Rowing Association (ABCRA) has more than doubled.

It now stands at more than 30 and new members who joined up recently include John Taylor and Mac and Jane McHugh.

Getting the boat into the water at last week's session...

Getting the boat into the water at last week's session...

The launch in March was the culmination of 18 months of work by the Association to build the 22-foot-long skiff. Three other vessels – Coquet Spirit from Amble, Crofton from Blyth and Grace from Gosforth – joined Pride of Aln on the water.

The project to build the traditional St Ayles skiff was conceived by members of the community. Most of those involved had no previous experience of boat building and the few who did had never built a rowing skiff like this one before.

The skiff was built at Embleton, but is now housed in the old boatshed at Alnmouth beach, which was once the home of the original Alnmouth lifeboat.

She has a £2 coin, given by Gosforth Rowing Club, in her keel, a symbol of good luck for those who use her.

...and heading out into the deep blue sea.

...and heading out into the deep blue sea.

The ABCRA is open to local people of all ages, as well as organisations, and the skiff will be used for recreation, sports training, team building, as well as being entered in regional and national rowing regattas. Any would-be rowers should email Rowing@AlnmouthRowing.org or phone Richard on 07780 782282.