An environmentalist’s dream of launching a Viking rowing boat is to become a reality next weekend.
Bob Latimer commissioned Northumberland boat -builders to construct a traditional St Ayles skiff, a wooden rowing boat designed to hold six people.
Work is now complete and the vessel – the Latimer Ledja – is to be officially launched on Sunday 12 July, from 11am at Whitburn beach.
Mr Latimer, from Whitburn, said:
“Barring bad weather, the launch will take place on Sunday so we’re hoping for a good day. We’ve invited another skiff from Amble to come along on the day.
“After the launch, from 12.30pm to 1pm, we’re planning a half hour ‘have a go’ sessions, when new ‘skiffies’ will be welcome to have a row.”
Between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday there will be a ‘social row’ into the River Wear or north towards Souter Lighthouse and Marsden Rock, after which pasties and cakes will be served.
The Ledja has been made at Boulmer near Alnwick, Northumberland, by fisherman Jeff Matthews and volunteer Ray Angus.