Insh Coracle Club at the Highland Folk Museum

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29 June 2017

An open air museum on an eighty acre site, the HFM is divided into four main areas – a 1930's working farm, the ‘open air museum’ with a developing community of re-located buildings, the Pinewoods and ‘Baile Gean’, the Museum’s unique re-construction of an early 1700's Highland Township. On this mile-long site visitors can discover how Highland people lived, worked and dressed, how they produced food, cooked and what they ate from the 1700's up to 1950's.

Vintage Day at the HFM was on Sunday 28 May focusing on vintage transport, with many old road vehicles, and agricultural vehicles and equipment, brought in and displayed and demonstrated by their owners, such as horse drawn ploughing. There were many stalls selling a variety of goods e.g. old hub caps, road signs, and bits of ploughs etc.. All of this is set out in the central area of the museum. The bulk of the visitors on the day were especially interested in the vintage vehicles, and the barbeque, and did not spread throughout the museum until the afternoon. The Mill Pond used by the Insh Coracle Club is near Baile Gean.

Three club members prepared four coracles and as we were quiet in the morning had plenty of time to play, including one of them capsizing while trying out a new smaller coracle. Serves him right!! However, after lunch we became very busy and stopped counting the numbers on the water when we reached 70. Visitors came from the USA and Canada, Russia and China as well as many local people and from further afield in the UK. Almost all of them wanted more information about the history and uses of coracles on top of the experience of paddling, taxing us quite considerably. But it was fun! We hope that we have inspired at least a few to pursue their interest in the future.

Raymond Green