Posts Tagged ‘Co. Wicklow’

Willie Redmond, Boat Builder

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

My memories of Grandad (Willie) Redmond are of a jolly person well liked and respected within the community of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Holding station at the end of the lane beside Killian’s Hall, “How are you old man” his stock greeting, Willie was always interested in what was going on in your life and the wider world. Prematurely struck down with motor neuron¬†disease, Grandfather even in his wheel chair was a big character and a major influence. Early memories include Grandad playing the bag pipes, pint bottles of Guinness in the house when he would come to visit us in England, and his boat shed, all wood shavings, the sound of a circular saw (which frightened the bejaysus out of me), the smell of cut timber, copper nails, and a boat, always a boat at some stage of construction.

Joe Redmond (left of picture) and Grandfather Willie Redmond, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

I learned to row and caught my first fish in the Jean Anne, a clinker design 16 foot boat built by Grandfather and named after my mother. Wide in the beam, deep with a high free board, designed with short east coast seas in mind, powered in the early days by seagull engines supplemented with long, strong, heavy oars, you always felt safe as these boats were well constructed. How many did he build? I do not know, but the last one would appear to have been around 1968. Which makes the following narrative all the more remarkable.

A 17' clinker boat designed and built by William Redmond, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

I am indebted to Barry Cantwell for contacting me about a boat his father bought many years ago which was built by grandad. Life works in mysterious ways, enquiring with restoration in mind and what contacts I might have, there is one thing for certain the conclusion of this story is going to be open ended and very positive. Curious to see the boat, Barry and I arranged to meet with a view to moving the craft from where it was stored to his house. On first viewing I was gobsmacked at its condition, while not quite ready for the sea she’s not a million miles away. This boat was well looked after and given her age of plus forty four years a testament to Grandads skills as a carpenter.

Bow shot of a clinker design boat constructed by William Redmond, Boat Builder, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Barry and I discussed its history and possible avenues we could take in getting the boat ready for the sea again, for there is no doubt she will ride the waves at some point during the summer to come. It is hard to not feel that some how Grandad had a part to play in both Barry and I meeting. When you consider that Barry’s wife is named Jean Anne the story takes on even greater significance, synchronicity is a word that has been used. Six degrees of separation, I don’t know, but one thing is for sure, often I have wondered whether any of Willie’s boats survived. Now I have my answer, I’ll be always grateful Barry and thank you.

Plaque below the stern seat.

A simple plaque below the stern seat is testament to the boats creator. She was built to go to sea and her wish will be granted. Life has its moments, God bless you Grandad….

Tinahely Riding Club Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The TRC held a hunter trials at their Coolboy showgrounds last Sunday 10th  April, 2011. The sun was splitting the stones with afternoon temperatures hitting 20 degrees, all preparations had been made and the crowds came out in force. One hundred and fifty five entries competed over various categories and a good day was had by all.

Early entries at the TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Proceedings were kept moving nicely throughout the day with singles and pairs competitions.

Competing at the TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Privately owned, the TRC have developed a wonderful facility that includes a full cross country course, sand arena with floodlights, dressage arenas, and a warm up area. There is plenty of room for parking, local catering enterprises supply coffee, teas, soft drinks, burgers, chips, and snacks, while the Little Moon Public House (The official TRC club house) is a two minute walk away.

TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

A real family day out the kids were having a ball.

Who needs a horse, quads go faster, but they can't jump.

Overseeing proceedings was progressive TRC chairperson Mandy Hayden.

TRC chairperson Mandy Hayden riding Dixie, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

The TRC facility at Coolboy is a great benefit to the community providing a social outlet enjoyed by everybody. A natural parkland that on event days explodes with life and colour.

Leading the team, TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

For information on future events or becoming a member why not visit the TRC website, www.tinahelyridingclub.com.