Following a blessing delivered by skiff supporter and local minister Rev Laurence Twaddle, Dunbar’s second St Ayles skiff was named “Black Agnes” by young Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club member Claire Denholm.
Black Agnes , Countess of Dunbar, was a true Scottish heroine who defended Dunbar Castle against the English Commander, the Earl of Salsbury. At the naming ceremony, Andy Wishart of DCRC expained that as befitting a woman from Dunbar she used a combination of strength and guile to outwit Salsbury who finally gave up the siege after 6 months..and she did this with some panache. She had her maids dust off the marks left by the rocks catapulted at the castle, she had boulders dropped on Salsbury’s secret weapon, the battering ram, and when she had fresh stores delivered by boat through a secret doorway she sent Salsbury some fresh bread and wine!
Taking inspiration from the lady herself, Dunbar’s coastal rowers will use strength, guile and panache when campaigning their stunning new skiff Black Agnes in regattas around the Scottish Coast. As with most of the St Ayles skiff fleet her building was a community effort, and the town of Dunbar will be proud of what they have produced.
The community turned out in force to see the skiff take to the water , with young pipers opening the celebration and the local sea scouts parading down to the harbour to honour the new boat. The thick mist swirled round the remains of the castle ramparts, and we could easily imagine Black Agnes peering down through the mist to the quayside to see her namesake. Local singing group “Dunbar Sings” gave us Michael rows the boat ashore, including the line “Black Agnes is a fast boat”. We hope so, and we look forward to finding out.