Weekend: ARCHIVE: Pushing the Boat out for a Journey through History; an Ancient Craft Will Once Again Travel along One of Our Greatest Rivers during Seven Historic Days on the Severn, as Ed Chatterton Explains
Byline: Ed Chatterton
The coracle is one of the most ancient forms of water transport with thousands of years history.
Over the centuries it has been used far and wide for a variety of functions. Ceasar and Wellington used them for military operations, while the Welsh preferred to fish.
For those of you who don't know what a coracle is picture a dustbin lid, a saucer or even an umbrella. Not exactly the sturdiest or safest sounding craft.
But now imagine yourself on this tiny vessel travelling 75 miles at a top speed of 2mph - although if current and wind directions are against you, your 2mph maximum will be reduced to a 0mph bobbing on the spot.
Next month sees the River Severn playing host to the Great Coracle Challenge. And challenge is the crucial word.
The route from Plynlimon, the source of the Severn, all the way to Shrewsbury contains rapids, as well as six-foot nettles and brambles on its banks andthe journey is one which organisers believe has not been attempted since the Bronze Age.
The challenge, which will take place between September 3-10 and is not for the faint-hearted. The team from the Coracle Society attempting the route has been putting in plenty of practice and includes 62-year-old Wendy Gee, from Nantwich, who is taking part in the marathon paddle to raise money for St Luke's Hospice and Severn Hospice. …