Fun and games at annual Ironbridge Coracle Regatta
Crowds are expected to gather later this month to watch boats take to open water for an annual historic the annual Ironbridge Coracle regatta.
The Ironbridge Coracle Regatta will takes place on the River Severn between noon and 4pm on August 26.
The event attracts coracle makers and paddlers from all over Britain to take part in a programme of madcap races. There are fun team games, coracle polo matches and other fiercely contested competitions.
There will be a coracle paddling pool for children to have a go, as well as the highly competitive duck race. It takes place along the picturesque stretch of the River Severn at Ironbridge Rowing Club.
On the river bank there will be a wide range of traditional fun and games including a coconut shy, hook a duck, puppet shows, live musical entertainment, craft stalls and delicious fresh food.
People are asked to turn up from 11am if they want to try their hand at paddling a coracle. To enter a coracle event people need to register their name at the entry stand. There will be no need to bring a coracle, as there will be spare coracles for most races.
The event is organised by the Ironbridge Coracle Trust, set up in 2014 to save the Rogers’ family coracle hut and keep alive the tradition of coracling on the Severn.
The Rogers family were famous on the River Severn.
They made coracles for generations and lived in Ironbridge through the worst years of poverty and decline. Eustace Rogers, the last coracle maker, died in 2003. The charity has bought the shed and secured funds to stabilise and maintain it.
Used for thousands of years, coracles are small, portable, flat-bottomed boats made from woven wood covered in animal skins, or more often nowadays, canvas waterproofed with tar or bitumen.
They were used for fishing, ferrying and – commonly in Ironbridge – for poaching.
Before the Iron Bridge was built they were used to ferry people and goods from one side of the River Severn to the other.
The rowing club can be reached by walking through Dale End Park to the regatta field.
Funds raised at the regatta are shared between the Ironbridge Coracle Trust and the Ironbridge Lions.
Donations to the trust can be made at localgiving.org/charity/ironbridge-coracle-trust