The inaugural SEA CHANGE Arts Festival on the Rosneath Peninsula over the weekend of 8-10th June was a huge success. From the fully-booked opening night reception at Cove Park, where Jo Royle of “Plastiki” fame gave an inspirational talk, to the 120 folk who turned up on Sunday for the Poetry and Sea Shanties concert at Kilcreggan Pier, every event was enthusiastically supported.

One of the highlights was the 150 entries to the Noah’s Ark building competition from the children at Kilcreggan and Rosneath Primary Schools. Jo Royle selected the winners who were Ryan Barbour, Stephen Reid, and Ian David from Kilcreggan PS, and Jake Hannigan, Reece Arnold, Connor Wilkes, Cameron Stokes, and Callum Byles from Rosneath PS.

On Sunday morning over 60 of the boats were launched opposite Cove Burgh Hall. Few survived this experience and were regathered at the shore, although some had to be captured by the Royal Navy “guard rib” and Cove Sailing Club recorded that one stalwart entry crossed the Cove finish line at 11.32am.

Saturday’s fancy dress parade from Kilcreggan Pier to Cove Sailing Club was held in one of the weekend’s few sunshine windows and was much enjoyed by walkers and watchers alike. The Kilcreggan Youth Cafe won the group award, Eleanor Ironside wore the best costume, Annie Ferguson waved the best umbrella, Rohan Dunbar was best pirate, and Marianne McNeilage was an outstanding best mermaid.

The Poetry and Sea Shanty concert by Kilcreggan pier drew a large crowd. It was organised by Stephen Adam whose Peninsula Choir formed the core of the performances around which the accordion playing of Andrew Mortimer, and the atmospheric poetry readings by actors Veronica Ferguson, David Mullen, and Joyce Falconer provided a funny and moving decoration.

The Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust thanks all those who contributed to the Festival, from the sponsors, Argyll & Bute Council, and Babcocks to the Mermaid Tea Ladies, from the Fire Brigade and Police to the pipers and parade marshals, from Cove Film Club to the Royal Navy, and from all the performers to all those who attended the various events.

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