Spey currach

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Not a lot is known or exists about the Spey currach or the wider use of coracles, and possibly other types of coracle, in Scotland. There is some evidence that the Spey currach was used for fishing salmon and transportation of timber - the latter by floating cut logs in the Spey and guiding/towing them by coracle, with assistance from another person or persons on the river bank.

The Spey currach is a large, oval/bowl shaped craft, constructed with a wicker basket - ribs of which in a star pattern from the centre of the boat (under the seat) - covered in animal hide, thought to be ox or horse. There is one remaining original currach in existence, at Elgin Museum near Inverness. This currach was measured for Sir Peter Badge when he was researching the type - diameter is 1450mm (approx 57"), with the seat measuring 1140mm long (approx 45") by 280mm wide (approx 11").

The Spey paddle has a large, wide blade with a simple shaft and T shaped handle. The length of the paddle at Elgin Museum was measured at 1150mm (approx 45").

As mentioned above, there is one remaining example of an original Spey currach at Elgin Museum. In 1989, Sir Peter Badge built two replicas for and with the support of The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers (a third was requested which was built mostly by Olivia Elton Barratt, the then President of The Worshipful Company, with some input from Sir Peter Badge). One of these replicas is at the National Coracle Centre in Cenarth.

Some content provided from "Coracles of the World" by kind permission of Sir Peter Badge.
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