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Displaying items by tag: Snipe

For a very long time, the Snipe class Dinghy Ranger languished in the Boathouse at Crom Castle on Upper Lough Erne, but after lengthy restoration by Fred and George Ternan, Ranger has been afloat twice recently and last weekend (18th September) at the Lough Erne Heritage Festival, she created a stir on display in the grounds of Enniskillen Castle.

The festival celebrated various heritage skills, local talents, and heritage projects, including Willow Weaving, Rush craft and Rope making, Thatching and Blacksmithing, and there were Rowing tours on the Erne and Historical tours of the Castle.

Fred Ternan was there to show off Ranger and discuss all things maritime heritage, and he gave a dedicated talk on the Snipe's restoration.

From left to right: Joy and Colin Honeyford from Bangor with Brian Osborne and Fred Ternan Photo: Andrew PatonFrom left to right: Joy and Colin Honeyford from Bangor with Brian Osborne and Fred Ternan Photo: Andrew Paton

There were about 1000 people who visited the festival, and many took photos of Ranger and its display sparked much conversation and tales of sailing on Lough Erne in the past. Brian Osborne from Lough Erne Heritage (It aims to encourage local heritage research about Lough Erne, its traditional boats and the people who built and used them), says that "The future for classic sailing certainly appears to be bright. We had our fair share of interested parties of all ages. Our restored Snipe provided a fitting backdrop for dozens of people eager for a memorable photograph. If the level of interest shown is anything to go by, then classic dinghy sailing on Lough Erne has a positive future".

Ranger displaying its original club, LEYC (Lough Erne Yacht Club) the original club based at CromRanger displaying its original club, LEYC (Lough Erne Yacht Club) the original club based at Crom

Among those visiting were Joy and Colin Honeyford from Bangor, who has a boat on Lough Erne. They had a beautiful day for a visit; " Of special interest to us was our chat with Fred Ternan, who explained in great detail how he and his brother George carefully restored a 1941 Snipe dinghy which was on display at their stand. They've done a superb job! And it was also great to see that so many traditional skills such as basket weaving, lace making, saddlery and many others are still practised".

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In late August, the Snipe dinghy Ranger, restored by Fred and George Ternan after sixty years lying abandoned on the Crom Estate, County Fermanagh, had her second outing on Upper Lough Erne at Crom.

Ranger was one of two Snipes found by Fred in the boathouse at Crom Castle and was restored over the last year. The other was Teal, and it is known that a third, Valkyria, is stored near Enniskillen.

Heading off in very calm conditions from the Visitor Centre slipway at Crom were Rob and Alice Armstrong from Bangor, later to be joined by Sarah Royle from County Cavan. Sarah confessed she hadn't sailed since she was ten; " Valkyria was owned by my father, Johnny Lucas -Clements, and when I was a young child, I used to sail with him at Crom on Sunday afternoons. That was back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and we always sailed from the boathouse. I enjoyed sailing at Crom back then. I was very grateful to be asked by Johnny Madden to attend the relaunch of Ranger in early August and then by Fred to sail in Ranger last Sunday. It brought back many happy memories for me."

Ranger approaching Trial Bay on Upper Lough ErneRanger approaching Trial Bay on Upper Lough Erne

Both Ranger and Valkyria came from Belfast Lough, where they regularly sailed for years. They formed part of a fleet of Snipes acquired by Major Madden of Clones, who was instrumental in establishing the class in Lough Erne. He introduced Teal about 1953, and his son Johnny Madden has much detail about the Snipe class at his fingertips.

The whole story of Snipe sailing in Northern Ireland can be found here

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