New flagship for Canada Crescent

Tue 20 February 2024
New flagship for Canada Crescent

A landmark sculpture which had become an eyesore after falling into disrepair is on its way to a revival, after Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery stepped in to save the day.
The WILL team took the opportunity of having contractors on the spot as they removed the Christmas tree in Perceval Square on Friday (16 February) to uplift the decaying remains of the old wooden fishing vessel atop its ‘wave’ of stone on the corner of Canada Crescent, Willowglen Road and Macaulay Road.

In fact, it’s a question of swapping new-old for old-old, with a second vessel being sailed in to replace the old wooden boat which had gone way past saving.

The new boat is still going by her existing name, the Girl Kerry, for now. She’s a six-metre wooden boat which has been fibre-glassed over, making her more weatherproof and durable.

The Lottery team were able to secure her from John Morrison of Knock, Point, who had her as an uncompleted project boat but who is now leaving the island.

The new vessel replaces the original vessel Economy which, according to reports and documentation shared online, was a lug-rigged sailing ship with an auxiliary engine, built in 1892 for a Pittenweem family.

She had been active as a fishing vessel around Harris and Scalpay for years, with some sharing memories of their time aboard when she was still watertight.

Ruaraidh MacSween said the boat being removed from her last resting place reminded him of his childhood in Scalpay, where he ‘spent many happy hours fishing with Duncan and his father Aonghas an Mhoir on baited hand lines at botha bocaig.’

Also sharing memories was Angelina Chalmers, who said the Economy was her grandfather’s boat and she was sad to see it go.

But for many it will be a relief to see an increasingly dilapidated spot in the town upgraded once again, with plans afoot for further improvements – and definitely for ongoing maintenance to prevent a repeat of the same cycle.

The work’s been done by the WILL team after the damage and disrepair to the old vessel was brought to their attention.

Lottery representative Janet Paterson said: “The original project was carried out by Stornoway Amenity Trust and we didn’t have any responsibility for maintaining it, but like many another island resident we really couldn’t stand seeing such a historic feature falling into a sad state, so we set out to do something about it.

“Thank you to all local contractors who were involved. We now have work to do to turn that corner into an eye-catching spot once again!”

The pictures show the original landmark when it was well maintained and looking trim (John J Maclennan), the Economy in a sorry state and its replacement, Girl Kerry, in position as the Economy is taken away (Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery).


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