Christmas elves in the workshop


Tiernan Roe has written with an important message:

‘Like many other boat builders, every so often I’ve misplaced a tool, and spent ages looking for it only to find it in the first place I looked.

‘If you’re tired or in a rush this can quickly progress from merely being mildly perplexing to Rumplestilskin-style apoplexy.

‘But when it re-appears, it’s as if someone put it there, quietly, and deliberately.

‘Well, I think I have discovered the cause.

‘I walked up the path to visit my neighbour earlier for a Christmas drink. While strolling home comfortably full of the spirit of Christmas I noticed the lights on in my workshop. I thought perhaps I – or my wife – had left the lights on.

‘But, more, I could hear hammering! Peeking in the window I managed to shoot the photo above. I don’t know what it is, or what is was making, but it looked like one of Santa’s elves and it was using my hammer.

‘Being superstitious and full of understandable fear I decided I would not disturb the creature. I’m just hoping it’s workmanship was worthy and that it put my hammer back on the shelf. Boat builders everywhere will surely understand!’

Find out what’s really happening in Tiernan’s Roeboats workshop.

In the meantime, all of us at Towers wish all of you a peaceful, comfortable and relaxing winter break. And my thanks to Tiernan for explaining something very profound…

Replica 18th century shipwright’s workshop to be built at Buckler’s Hard

Buckler's Hard

This year sees the building of a new replica timber-framed 18th century shipwrights’ workshop at the old shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard by the Beaulieu River.

Once built using local timber, the workshop will become a centre for the teaching and study of traditional shipbuilding, working in partnership with the Portsmouth branch of the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC).

The school’s aim is to ensure the continuation of shipwright skills for the restoration of historic ships, and to support the traditional boatbuilding industry.

Nearby woodland will allow students to be taught about timber felling, conversion and storage.

The building project will also be used as a learning exercise, with students taught to use traditional tools and methods, and the building is planned to be raised in in early August 2014 using the traditional gin pole and block and tackle, and then pegged together with cleft oak trunnels.

Read more here and here.

Rescue Wooden Boats celebrates its second birthday

Norfolk’s Rescue Wooden Boats has just celebrated its second birthday and published the latest edition of its newsletter – and there is lots of news to share.

The first phase of the visitor centre just beyond the High Sands Campsite office at Greenway Stiffkey (NR23 1QP) is now open at weekends from 10:30am to 4:30pm for the summer. On display are films, photos and artefacts, and the restoration work going on in the workshop on the lifeboat and Dunkirk veteran Lucy Lavers. George Hewitt and Ben Riches have been fitting a new centreboard, and David Hewitt is working her canopy.

Rescue Wooden Boat’s online collection has now reached 80 short films and sets of photographs that provide an insight into the lives of the people who crewed the boats and used them to make livings through them using them.

Built by Billy May in 1974, the Norfolk crab boat Pegasus has been in Scotland for about 15 years in the hands of Bernard Thain.

During this time she has earned her keep supplying their restaurant and farm shop with seafood, but Bernard and family have decided to give Pegasus to the Rescue folks, and she arrived home in July.

See the Rescue Wooden Boats newsletter here.