Berwickshire coast flotilla

'Lammermuirs to London Bridge' endurance event'Berwickshire boats 'Unity' and the 'Bisco Kid' will be travelling to London to take part in the Thames River Pagent for the Queens Jubilee.
'Lammermuirs to London Bridge' endurance event'Berwickshire boats 'Unity' and the 'Bisco Kid' will be travelling to London to take part in the Thames River Pagent for the Queens Jubilee.

A TRIATHLON style event from Abbey St Bathans to Eyemouth, via St Abbs is being planned for Saturday, May 5, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Berwickshire’s Lieutenancy came up with the idea of a Berwickshire wide quiz to celebrate the jubilee and at the same time raise money to help with the costs involved with taking the Eyemouth harbour boat The Biscoe Kid down to London to take part in the jubilee river pageant on the Thames in June, and also for the Margaret Kerr Palliative Care Unit at Borders General Hospital.

And when the overall winning team of the Berwickshire Jubilee Quiz turned out to be the Abbey St Bathans heat winners, Deputy Lieutenant Ian Waddell came up with the idea of the ‘Lammermuir to London Bridge’ event incorporating Berwickshire’s very own flotilla - cyclists starting off from Abbey St Bathans and picking up boats at St Abbs and joining the flotilla to Eyemouth.

Winning quiz member Mark Pentecost and his 12-year-old daughter Polly from Reston will join the Lord Lieutenant’s party on board the Eyemouth harbour master’s vessel ‘Biscoe Kid’ for the Jubilee River Pageant but first the boat has to be smartened up and transported down there.

Eyemouth Harbour Trust has lent the boat to the Lord Lieutenant and is also paying for the boat’s refurbishment (£3000). Funds still have to be raised, however, to pay for the costs of taking the boat overland to London (approx £4000) because the boat will have to be craned out of Eyemouth harbour and also be lifted on and off the Thames the same way.

The fund raising ‘Lammermuir to London Bridge (first stage)’ event starts off with a 17 mile cycle ride in the morning via Quixwood, Butterdean, Grantshouse, Cedar Cafe, Howpark, Coldingham Moor, Coldingham and ending up at St Abbs.

Cyclists are sure of a warm reception when they arrive at St Abbs, with hospitality at St Abbs Community Centre and Visitor Centre. After re-grouping those who want to take part in rowing the next stage of the event to Eyemouth can take up the offer of 16 rowing places on three skiffs and two clinker dinghies. Alternatively those wishing to stay on dry land can run the remaining leg of the journey.

People are being invited to take part in as much or as little of the event as they wish: cycling only; cycling and running; cycling and rowing; rowing only; running only. Sponsorship sheets are available in support of both Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Berwickshire Fund or the Coastal Rowing Project. To sign up go to: www.berwickshire-lieutenancy.co.uk

Arrival at Eyemouth will be at high water, around 2.40pm (not quite so important for those running there!) and there will be a barbecue, prize giving/celebration when they get there.

Both St Abbs and Eyemouth RNLI stations are supporting the event with both boats on the water, subject to call-outs. The St Abbs crew have offered to take care of the safety of the fleet and the Eyemouth boat will take the Lord Lieutenant’s party. Local lobster boats, canoes, charter boats and yachts are all being urged to take part to make the Berwickshire flotilla a colourful spectacle on the May day bank holiday weekend.

For more information contact Ian Waddell on 01890 750618 or email him at ianwaddell@hotmail.co.uk .