Regular sailing has already begun for members of the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society (BSCPS), and the three cobles Gratitude, Gansey Lass and Three Brothers have been taking advantage of the recent excellent sailing weather in Bridlington Bay, reports Paul L Arro.

The yearly maintenance programme for the sailing coble fleet has now been completed, and all but one of the locally based cobles have gone back onto moorings in the harbour.

Progress is now being made on the planning for the 2022 Sailing Coble Festival, which will take place over the 23-24 July weekend. Interest is building from outside the East Yorkshire area, and owners of traditional sailing vessels from as far apart as Portknockie in North East Scotland and Mevagissey in Cornwall have expressed an interest in attending.

Two sailing coble owners from North Yorkshire have already confirmed their intention to attend, and the possible addition of at least one from the west coast of Scotland could make a very attractive fleet taking part. This year could see in excess of 14 cobles on show and under sail in Bridlington Bay.

Due to Covid restrictions, it has not been possible to hold the festival for the past two years. It is anticipated this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever, and will showcase for the first time at least two new coble restoration projects that have been undertaken locally over that two-year period.

The newcomers will be the Northumberland-built Kathleen, built by Dawson and Beverley at Seahouses in 1949, and the recently acquired museum transfer from Hartlepool Borough Council Museum Service, Venus, a six-plank pilot coble built in Hartlepool in 1900. Both have been restored by members of the BSCPS in its Beck Hill facility.

The support and sponsorship of Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, together with a number of local companies, make the event possible.

Maritime-themed stalls will be set up in the Harbour Commissioners’ Vessel Maintenance Facility, and there will also be displays of model boats and traditional fishermen’s ganseys. ‘Brid Fiddler’ Jim Eldon will again keep visitors entertained with his traditional sea songs outside the Harbour Heritage Museum.

Anyone who would like to take a stall for the weekend, or has a sailing coble or traditional sailing vessel and would like to attend, should contact the society secretary for further details at: threebrotherscoble@gmail.com

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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