An enormous effort went into transforming Narraghmore on Wednesday 28th December into a celebration of the last 100 years – with everything from a Vintage Tractor run, outdoor cooking, childrens games, period music and clothing, dramatic re-enactments, dancing and general tom-foolery!
It was wonderful to see the River Griese Trout & Salmon Angling Association well represented with our patch being inside Kellys Hardware Store behind the pub.
Additionally there were many local clubs and associations putting on displays and running stands and stalls as well as giving demonstrations of what things were like all those years ago. Our thanks must go to Seamus and Ciaran Buggle for pulling together a great display of rods, reels, flys, clothing, nets, books and other general ‘fishy’ stuff. They even had an elderly ‘specimen’ hung up for the guess the weight competition.
It was good to have a steady stream of visitors come up to the stand and chat – we even managed to sign up several new members! Many of the ‘auld boys’ had wonderful memories of the River Griese going back several decades. One remembered being able to swim in it as a youngster – with the river being wider and deeper back then. It would be nice to be able to capture some of these historic local memories before they are lost forever.
There was a general feeling from past members that not attracting enough youngsters had previously been a problem for the old Club – and this was a useful reminder to us to make sure that we continue to try and get everyone involved. Another suggestion was to put up a list of Club events being planned across the year – so we’ll shortly get that organised for the website and Facebook.
We did have quite a few youngsters to the stand (and not just because of the box of chocolates!) to chat. Some were being encouraged by their parents – but some were there under their own steam. Many were interested in the environmental side of supporting the river – and were not yet into the angling. We have to recognise that there is a lot of competition for our youngsters time – not just from the traditional sports and interests but all the electronic/online ‘stuff’ as well. Events like the Heritage Day give us the opportunity to show just how important our river systems are to everyone – as well as promoting the joys of a great outdoor sport.
Both locals and visitors had praise for the Club in restarting it over the last few months and raising awareness. Many locals had not been aware that there previously had been an active fishing club – or even that the River Griese existed! The event was a great way of raising the profile of the Club and I am sure that it will have additional benefits as we build out the Club.
Seamus and I decided to call it a day late afternoon – there was no heating in the Store and frostbite and permafrost had started to set in.
Additionally most of the ‘hard core’ attendees already seemed to have located themselves in the pub as the sun started to set.
Once more a final big thank you must go again to Seamus and Ciaran Buggle (and the girls – who in addition to helping with the set up also took the pictures) for getting the stand organised and providing the majority of the display items. Thanks also to the Heritage Day organisers – a fantastic day all round and very good for the local community.
We’re already talking about next year and how we can make it bigger and better! If you were at the event and have any thoughts, comments or pictures – please send them on and I’ll post them up.
Looking forward to seeing you at the Club Day at Rathcon in Grangecon on Monday 2nd January.