Coracle Racing on the Teifi with Rory McGrath and Paddy McGuiness: Summer 2009

It’s sad I know but celebrity does bring out the worst in me. I recall walking into my shop to be greeted by my rather chuffed assistant:  ‘Paul, meet Mr Grant Baynham from TV’s That’s Life!  I managed a barely polite ‘Hello’ before I announced ‘I can’t stand that show’. Retreat of customer. Anyway, a long time ago. I’m better now.
Tipped off that Rory, Paddy and film crew would be filming coracle racing for the next series of their somewhat indifferent TV show, Rory and Paddy’s Great British Adventure we warm-footed it down to the River Teifi at Cilgerran. I hadn’t seen coracle racing there since I was 12 or so but I had become temporarily and boyishly interested in the little hide and willow tubs that for at least two thousand years have graced these shores.
Anyway, opportunities to gongoozle  are these days rare, so there we were watching woeful red-faced Rory and wretched Paddy getting it all wrong while the river pros paddled the one hundred yards in a flash. Then former funny-man Rory got a bit grumpy with his producer and then they re-shot some cheering and then I started muttering something about it being ‘Clarkson Lite’ (which when I think about it is probably a good thing); and before I started shouting ‘Which one’s Jeremy Clarkson?’, Shevaughn insisted we leave. A good job no drink had been taken. Anyway here’s a picture of a chunky guy who came last and some river tough guys who came first…

From Coracles and Rory McGrath
From Coracles and Rory McGrath

Mmmm… I wonder if they visited Martin Fowler’s National Coracle Museum at Cenarth?
‘A unique collection of coracles from Wales & around the world.
Set in the grounds of the 17th century flour mill overlooking the salmon leap & falls.
Craft & souvenir shop & Forget Me Not Antiques.’
01239 710980
01239 710507
Easter to end October, daily 10.30 – 17.30. All other times by appointment 

Paul Williams

This is the blog of Paul Williams, Ceredigion resident since 1970. I am an English and Philosphy graduate of what was once known as St David's University College, at Lampeter. I played bass in Dyfed's first punk band, and living in Llandewi Brefi, had a grandstand view of Operation Julie. Eventually, after 2 years playing bass in Brighton's 256th punk band, I returned to Wales to deal in books and then antiques. I've trained and worked as a counsellor, I am a photographer, blog and web designer and I publish the annual Wales Antiques Guide. I am married and a father of one. Apart from my family, my interests include books, maps, Nikon, Yashica and Mamiya film cameras, British Culture 1935 - 1965, Poole pottery, Welsh textiles, and Poster art. My favourite movies include anything by Pressburger and Powell favourite music includes Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and anything form San Francisco 1965-1970. I am a late convert to 'Kraut Rock'.

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4 Responses

  1. Dru says:

    I used to enjoy canoeing up to Cilgerran from Cardigan, except when I was attacked by a swan anyway.

    I had thought of reprising the trip last week but my fave Pembs campsite was fully-booked, so we went to Devon instead, where my canoe sank under me. It was a glorious sight.

    I’d like to see what happens if you stick an outboard motor on a coracle. Or on Rory McGrath, for that.

  2. Ian says:

    You’ll never get me out in one of those. I’m suprised Rory didn’t sink his.

  3. Bob says:

    I fancy it. You should sort it out for the next time the boys are down Paul…

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