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Thursday, 27 March 2014

STOP PRESS: Minehead longboat launch

This longboat will be launched from Minehead Harbour at 5.30pm (17.30)
on Sunday 30th March, 2014

From the 24th to the 29th March Padraig O Duinnin and Dave Nolan from 'Meitheal Mara' are working with volunteers and long-term unemployed people to build a seven-man Celtic longboat outside the new Information Centre and Minehead Museum at the YMCA Beach Hotel and Cafe. 

'Meitheal Mara', Gaelic for 'workmen of the sea' is a boatbuilding organisation based in Cork that specialises in projects with community groups. Padraig said "It is exciting to be here building a Currach with Minehead people and seeing the enthusiasm of the participants and the interest of the onlookers, I feel we are rekindling the ancient links between Southern Ireland and the Somerset Coast."

All the materials have been locally sourced, as they would have been in Celtic times. Exmoor National Park felled and milled a spruce tree from North Hill along with green oak, and Dunster Crown Estate coppiced the hazel for the ribs. Price Western Leather donated the material to cover the hull and Gliddons donated the hardware and tools. Dulux gave bitumen paint and Minehead Hire provided lights for evening working. Minehead Vision Manager Stephen Hooper commented "This project has really captured the town's imagination, the goodwill and support is incredible, everyone has pulled together to help make this happen."

The week-long project has been jointly funded by a number of organisations and in part celebrates Minehead's long association with the sea.  The longboat will be launched at 5.30pm from Minehead Harbour on Sunday 30th March following a blessing ceremony.

Lots of information on this Somerset coastal town can be found on the Minehead Development Trust website.

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