A salmon coble at Abbotsford

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Probable mezzotint postcard showing Abbotsford on the Tweed

Jeff Cole has sent us this image of an old postcard of Abbotsford on the River Tweed. Here’s what he says about it:

‘This rather rough looking dinghy on the Tweed is probably the photographers’ transport. Originally from the patchy quality I suspect a photomezotype.

‘Note the broad stern and gunwale level thwart, single thole pins and basic oars made from a virtually flat blade attatched to a round pole. Seems to be a pad and cord to attach to thole pin, muffled oars?. Interesting lines forward and a quite heavy piece of chain. Maybe it’s a hire boat?’

Thanks Jeff. The boat is a salmon coble from rivers and estuaries of the far North East of England and the East Coast of Scotland. They’re curious looking boats with wide, flat-cut sterns, I guess to support salmon fishermen working over their sterns, and I think their odd shape may be the reason there hasn’t been a huge amount of interest interest in them. See the picture on this page: http://www.salmonboats.co.uk. It’s interesting to take a look at what the Wikipedia says about these boats compared with what it has to say about cobles in general – to my mind it rather reflects attitudes to these boats generally.

The house is author Sir Walter Scott’s impressive pile near Melrose.

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News from my inbox

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Jukung on Bali

Jukungs on Bali
– see also this Indigenous Boats weblog entry on jukungs.

An exhibition focusing on Bridlington’s tradition of fishing – and news of a new coble restoration – PS take a peek at the Bridlington Coble Preservation Society website for nice piece about the Siddalls who built the coble Three Brothers, including a splendid photo.

Portsmouth’s Highbury College launches boatbuilding courses

Strikingly weathered wooden boat on a beach in Spain

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The Three Brothers – a coble from the Yorkshire coast

There aren’t many sailing cobles left, and so it’s great to see that the The Three Brothers is on the water in the harbour at Bridlington, and being sailed and cared for by Brid’s own Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society. Built in the town in 1912 at a cost of £75, for many years she was a fishing coble as well as a pleasure vessel during the summer. Cobles converted readily to motor power, but The Three Brothers is now refurbished as a traditional East Coast sailing coble and is sailed regularly by local Naval cadets and members of the Society.
For more on the Society:
http://www.bscps.com/
If you can add to this story – perhaps links to more photos, details of the restoration or the boat’s history – please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com . It would be great to be able to add something to what’s currently online.