Coble Festival sponsors call

Planning for this year’s Sailing Coble Festival at Bridlington, which will take place on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, is now underway.

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 10:10 am
The classic cobles Providence and Julie B leave the harbour.
The classic cobles Providence and Julie B leave the harbour.

The festival, now in its fifth year, has grown from humble beginnings and is now a major maritime attraction.

The event is organised by the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society which has played a major role in the coble revival story.

The society’s members, buoyed by sponsorship from the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, think this year’s festival will see an increase in the number of vessels attending.

Free Spirit, Madeleine Isabella, Gansey Lass and Gratitude in action.

They are also hoping that local businesses will get behind the event via sponsorship.

The number of attendees has increased year on year since the inaugural event in 2016, and with the further restoration projects on-going, expectations are high that this year’s event will bring together even more cobles to grace the waters of Bridlington Bay.

A spokesman said: “Interest has already been shown by sailing coble owners in Amble, Blyth and Brixham who have not attended previously.

“Organisers would be delighted to hear from anyone who has a traditional sailing vessel, coble or otherwise, and who would like to be part of this unique event.

“The revival and interest in sailing cobles has been remarkable in recent years.

“The number of boats already restored, together with new builds rigged for sail, is testament to the growing appreciation people have for wanting to sail this traditional north east coast craft.

“Once the mainstay of the inshore fishing industry, this ubiquitous open working boat could be seen in great numbers at every port during the 1800/1900s. Due to various circumstances, but mainly the de-commissioning schemes and more versatile vessels being built in modern materials, those large fleets have long since disappeared.

“However, there are some beautiful examples around our coastline today.

“Bridlington alone can boast a fleet of seven sailing cobles moored in the harbour during the summer months.

“Stands and stalls will be set up in the Commissioners’ Vessel Maintenance Facility at Clough Hole for maritime themed displays, crafts and merchandise, and there will be traditional music, folk and sea songs performed around the harbourside during the weekend.

“Financial assistance to help offset expenses would be appreciated and any company willing to help with sponsorship/donations will be suitably recognised in the publicity.

“Those with an interest in the maritime heritage of the north east coast of England should not miss the opportunity to visit Bridlington and recapture those nostalgic bygone days.”