Skiff named in memory of much-missed Nelly G

Appin skiff community with Nelly G.

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A community has named its first coastal rowing skiff after a much-missed wife of the boat’s main builder.

Ken Groom has been the leading man behind the build of Appin’s St Ayles skiff and his late wife’s nickname was voted in by locals as the new boat’s official name.

Helen Groom, whose maiden name was Nelson – hence Nelly – passed away after a short cancer illness in January this year.

It has taken the group about one and a half years, so far, to reach a landmark stage in the skiff’s construction, finishing its hull, which means they can turn it over and crack on with building its interior, the gunnels and the seating.

The final job, later this year, will be to paint in light blue and grey in a nod to Appin’s Jacobite banner.

The skiff crew carried the completed hull out of the boathouse to the Pierhouse Hotel to celebrate the latest achievement, toasting the skiff with glasses of Pimms courtesy of The Pierhouse Hotel.

Appin Skiff’s chairperson Elaine Venters said: ‘After a great deal of hard work, we’re delighted to have completed the skiff’s hull and are very much looking forward to getting out on the water with other coastal rowing communities across Argyll and the Isles.

‘Ken has been our main workman. He has been the brains behind getting the boat built. We have all helped but we could not have done it without him. We’re particularly pleased the community chose to name our skiff after his wife.’

Ken said he was touched by the gesture. ‘It really means a lot that the community chose it ,’ he said.

Meetings are usually on a Monday and Thursday from 6.30pm at the boathouse, anyone interested in helping complete the skiff or wanting to get out on the water can go along.

To find out more either email or go to Facebook searching Appin Skiff Community Project @AppinSkiff

Funds were raised funds through a ceilidh night and at the Appin Show, with generous donations also coming from individuals and organisations, including the Appin Community Trust, The Argyll Trust and Highland Titles.

Caption for main photo is: Appin skiff community with Nelly G. NO_T27-appinskiff01-community