Tuesday 21 February 2012

Rowing with the Stars (3)

I wasn't rowing with the stars this week, but Gail McGarva and colleagues at the Boatbuilding Academy at Lyme Regis were. They featured in Britain's Heritage Heroes on the BBC, in which John Craven and Jules Hudson drive a Landy round the country in a tour of craftsmen, woodsmen, steam men, cheese men and a rich tapestry of countryside obsessives.
The tone is relentlessly lowbrow, our presenters spending the first five minutes listing what they are going to see and the last five listing what they have just seen, in case we are too stupid and daft to remember.
The section on the Academy and Gail's new lerret, a fishing boat unique to Lyme Bay, was a delight. They launched the boat in the traditional way, the crew getting in and being bodily hurled down the beach into the surf, neatly demonstrating why the boat is short, fat and double-ended.
You can see the programme on BBC iPlayer (UK only, sorry).
Hudson seemed to be making a decent fist of pulling the traditional heavily-balanced blades but Craven made a complete horlicks of it, being completely unable to row and talk at the same time.
Readers with long memories may recall I saw Gail and the lerret at Beale Park last year.

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