Peel Traditional Boat Weekend Celebrates 21st Anniversary

The Compass Pipeline Peel Traditional Boat Weekend celebrated its 21stanniversary with the return of the ‘Espanola’ which was once owned by Alphonse XIII King of Spain. Built in 1902 by Samuel Bond of Birkenhead, she was constructed with teak planks on oak and elm frames with her present owner, Martin Birch, ensuring that she remains an elegant lady of the sea.
It’s a fairly relaxed weekend with traditional style vessels visiting the Island’s fishing port from a number of anchorages around the Irish Sea, together with a selection of local, historically interesting boats. Typical examples were the ‘Master Frank’, a Manx half decker rigged as a gaff cutter built in Ramsey in 1895, the ‘White Heather’, a Manx nobby built in Peel in 1904, ‘Fisher Lass’, a baulk yawl built in Port St Mary in 1926 and ‘Scotch Lass’, a motor fishing vessel built in Fife in 1952. They were joined by Morecambe Bay prawners, Galway hookers and ex-RNLI lifeboats in Saturday’s Parade of Sail which took place in the picturesque setting of Peel bay with its nostalgic background of historic buildings, which have largely escaped the modern developers’ attempts to revolutionise the town.
There was also an opportunity for budding DIY enthusiasts to turn their hand to a boat building competition and quench their thirst with a pint of beer produced especially by Okell’s Brewery for a recent Beer Festival. The local ‘Creek Inn’ also featured a number of special beers throughout the weekend, although the hub of the event focused on the Peel Yacht and Sailing Club nearby.
The town’s Ward Library and Leece Museum also organised boat and fishing displays with the weekend culminating in the crowning of the ‘Herring Queen’  and the popular Peel Carnival which was also celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Valerie Caine
© August 2012 (inc. photos)