Clyde to Forth

Obviously, we have to start on the Clyde…

One of the long term ambitions of Cluaran has been to row from Glasgow to Edinburgh, perhaps carrying some cargo, like a keg of Ale.

To whet your appetite here is a wee video of the crew of “Black Agnes” achieving that aim (without the keg).

This would obviously take some training and equipping, so we have other ideas lined up to get more used to messing around in boats.


Adventure Planning

There will be Craft Club this Thursday evening. I suspect there will be blacksmithing, but there are also some boat tasks to accomplish.

Bottom boards, and a rudder and tiller are both useful things for the Cluaran boat. More adventurous plans will follow.

You can also take the opportunity to come along, hang out and get round to a craft of your own.

But talking of adventures, keep your eyes open for a menu of things we can work our way towards. This might be visiting schools to bring history to life, or getting out on the water, or even building things which float.

Events storytelling

Tales at the Tap

With added mead…

Autumn is here and plans are germinating. Here is a selection of current activities planned.

Tales at the Tap

The 19th of October will see the return of Simon and Kate to the Riverside Tap. Turn up from 6pm for a blether, and stories with music will start at 6.30.

The Tap doesn’t serve food, but doesn’t object if you bring a pizza in either. They are also experimenting with stocking some mead.

Northern Tales

How often do you get the opportunty to listen to Sami stories and music? instead of craft club, and as it’s the school holidays, we are going to “Northern Tales” at the Stove instead.

Northern Tales & Tunes

Date: Thu, Oct 26 • 19:30 BST

Location: 100 High Street, Dumfries, DG1 2BJ

Cluaran Craft Club

Craft Club will be back on Thursday the 2nd of November. Finish your S-Hook or start another project.

And if you are interested in mead, this is Simons favourite supplier at the moment.

Nithraid 2023 storytelling

Nithraid Crew 2023

At Nithraid in 2023 Cluaran had a crew gathered from a variety of times and places. They are all connected by the river Nith, but may have very different opinions about it. Over the coming months we will introduce you to them.

First up from the future we have Ola…

Meet Ola

She is from 3033 and time travels back in time when the tide comes in up the river Nith.

In her future there is no land, and everyone lives under water. Due to micro plastics in our current timeline Ola’s people have developed scales on their legs (which are multi coloured) and a neoprene type skin that covers their feet. This helps them swim in their underwater world.

A chemical created (in her timeline) to dissolve micro plastics in the sea mutated and humans started to develop ability to breath underwater. This is how their skin and scales developed.

In Ola’s world the currency they use are pelican foot shells. These shells are prised highly with her people and can only be collected from some beaches along the coast of Dumfries and Galloway up to the end of the 21st century. None exist in her time, and this is usually why she comes back to our time. There she can collect them and walk along beaches that no longer exist in 3033.

 Her cloak has a bright purple lining and gold and blue panels with floral designs. These have been inspired by the banks of the river Nith.

Ola has not yet spoken about how her world came to be under the sea, but she likes to talk to people about looking after our world in 2023.

— Ola, time traveller

More stories to follow! After craft club though. We will probably be casting playing pieces for early medieval games this evening.

Events storytelling

Tales at the Tap

Thursday from 6pm 21.10.2023

What stories would you like to hear?

Cluaran Craft Club

Thursday the 28th of October, 7pm

This will be a general craft club, try something new or get round to finishing a project with friends!



Tales at the Tap 21.10.22

Back by popular demand we will be telling some tales at the tap this Thursday evening. There are fine ales from around the world, and other drinks to try including those that are non alcoholic. The Riverside tap doesn’t serve food, but they are OK with you bringing some in with you.

So gather round, find a slice of pizza and 2/3rd of something dark, and listen to stories of Cú Chulainn, Jötunn who fling huge rocks like they are pebbles, or perhaps Assispattle facing the Giant Stoorworm.

Live music from Kate accompanies the stories, and if we are really fortunate she will sing too.

Can’t wait? Here are some stories from “The Floating Monastery”

Can you guess the song?

Anyone want to try and had craft while they listen? Leave a comment.



What ancient craft will you preserve today?

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you think about climate change, war, and politics. We should protest, rage against the fading of the light, but on a practical level what can we do to take control of our daily lives? This suggestion isn’t going to bring world peace, but it might help you find peace of mind.

When we learn ancient crafts like nålbinding we can make useful things out of simple raw materials. A bit of bone crafted into a needle, ends of wool knotted into socks and gloves – or scrap wire into jewellery. A fun craft, and a way to enhance downtime watching something on a device or gossiping with friends. At the end of a blether you could be closer to having hand warmers.

Roman era, child’s sandal socks.

In addition, by learning and teaching the skill you actively involve yourself in the story of human adaption as part of our environment. Your participation preserves the skill you practice, and also contributes to the collective memory of how we can adapt to survive. How many people doing this in the UK would it take to make a change felt globally?

Impressive huh! But also simply knotting wool to make socks the way our ancestors have done for millennia. We rediscover how to be something essentially human.

Here is some info from the British Museum

Cluaran craft club will be back on Thursday the 28th of September.

If you already know how to nålebind why not bring it along to tales at the tap ? (6pm Thursday the 21st of September)

Events Nithraid 2023

Cattle Reiving

The internet is awash with photos from this years Nithraid. Our crew didn’t race, but we had many discussions with people about the river.

In our time travelling ship we had Brigid the Selgovae, a Border reiver, a pirate and even a visitor from a future waterworld. Their stories will be told in another post, but while you are waiting here is a short video of images from our cattle rustling…

Events Nithraid 2023

Nithraid 2023

Ready to launch

We are mustering in the morning to get the boat ready to launch. We plan to pitch a pavilion on Millgreen and row round in circles. Maybe we will make a pirate raid on the island …

You can join in by creating a character for our fantasy crew

If you like this sort of thing, what do you think about building a boat?

Sign up to support the idea and find out more

Nithraid 2023

Cluaran Boat Session

The nights are drawing in!

We will gather again to launch the boat this Thursday (31st of August) at 18.00

We are starting early to make the best of the daylight. Please gather at the workshop as usual.

If you are early (from 16.30) you can help pick apples! (bring a bag to take them away)

Since Nithraid is the 2nd of September we will also work on costumes after rowing. We will need a shore crew as well as rowers, so even if you are not keen of getting on the water have a look at this form and think about how you can help people encounter the river Nith in a new way.

If you are curious, the featured video clip is from our contribution to the treaty of Perth celebrations.