Monday, May 29, 2017

Crafts of the Ards Peninsula - Kircubbin 'flying fifteen' boat building, circa 1955

Centuries of tradition and craftsmanship captured in this lovely old film. These were sports & pleasure craft, but there were of course 'proper' boatyards at Portavogie and Portaferry, maybe also Ballywalter and Kircubbin. I can vaguely recall one at Portavogie, long-gone now, displaced by steel and then EU-funded 'progress' which would decimate the local fishing industry. I clearly remember boats being 'decommissioned' - bought off by European chequebooks, then set on fire on the beach, consigned to history. There are still plenty of pleasure boats on Strangford Lough, with sailing clubs on both coasts.

Here is an article from 1885, describing Portavogie - 'self-reliance and independence have preserved them from being demoralised alike by Government grants and doles'.

Portavogie 1885