Prize presentation for model boat builders

Prize presentation for model boat builders

Eight talented young craft-workers from the North East who completed a model boat-making apprenticeship will be rewarded for their efforts at a presentation tomorrow (Wednesday, September 6).

The youngsters, all aged between 13 and 16-years-old, took part in a seven-week training scheme in Peterhead during the summer holidays as part of the Boaties Craft Residency, organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute.

The Boaties Craft Residency was the third event of its kind organised by the Institute, the others being in 2004 and 2005, and it attracted visitors from all over the UK and beyond. The residency showcased the talent of a team of highly skilled crafts people from the local area, including Jim Reid, Alex James Stephen, and Sandy Forbes, and was coordinated by ex-trawler skipper Stephen Ritchie.

The Boaties Apprenticeship attracted eight junior apprentices from the Peterhead area, namely Kris Robertson, Teri Hughes, Ashleigh Forman, Lauren Hossack, Stuart Daniel, Craig Westland, Jonathan McKeown, and James Clarke. A further 2 senior apprentices also completed the course.

The junior apprentices will be presented with a toolbox, complete with all the tools they will need to continue with their model boat-making, and a commemorative certificate, by Dr Ian Russell, Director of the Elphinstone Institute, at the Sea Cadet Corp in Peterhead at 5.30pm tomorrow.

Dr Russell said: “This is a great achievement for the apprentices. They have worked very hard indeed and acquired a unique craft skill that is part of their local heritage. They can be justifiably proud of their excellent models.”

‘Boaties’ are a model-making skill that dates back at least 150 years in North-East Scotland. They are based on the traditional Scottish fishing boat known as the ‘fifie’ and sail without rudder, motor, or remote control, depending on the skill of the maker/owner to trim the boat and set the sails appropriately.

The 2006 Boaties Craft Residency at Peterhead Maritime Centre began in early June and ran until the end of August, with the aim of raising awareness of the fascinating craft of model sailing boat building, as well as to introduce children and young people to the skill of boatie construction.

The Boaties project was supported by Aberdeenshire Arts and Heritage, and Banff and Buchan Arts Forum. Other sponsors include: Banff and Buchan College, the Buchan Field Club, the Friends of the Elphinstone Institute, Lunar Fishing Company, Peterhead Common Good Fund, Peterhead Port Authority, Peterhead Round Table, Robertson Road Resource Centre at Fraserburgh, Shell Exploration & Production, Willowbank Adult Training Centre at Peterhead, and other anonymous donors.

Further information on the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen is available by contacting (01224) 272996 or e-mail: elphinstone@abdn.ac.uk.

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