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Rushes from Trading Journeys

The Stove Network’s Trading Journeys began with artist Alice Francis and her fine friend Douglas setting off for Wigtown

Alice and Dougal travelled the highways and byways of Galloway for three days to get to Wigtown
Alice and Dougal travelled the highways and byways of Galloway for three days to get to Wigtown
Alice Francis and Dougal in Creetown
Passing through Creetown
jam making in Gatehouse
Meanwhile in Gatehouse of Fleet some serious outdoor science was underway
Phoebe Makes Jam
Artist Phoebe Marshall explains the finer points of bramble and apple jam making
Charcoal Making
Charcoal making was also on the agenda….crucial to what was to come in Wigtown
Bicycle Powered Foundry on the move
On the Morning of 27th September Uula, Lorraine, Arny and Inti were first on the road – pedalling the bicycle powered foundry through the Galloway Forest Park towards Wigtown
Creetown Ferry Bell
Meanwhile in Creetown the Ferry Bell was decked out with it’s flags
Ringing the ferry bell
…the Bell was rung
Boat Launch Creetown
…and the boats were launched
Boats heading for Wigtown
carrying their precious cargo of charcoal, the boats headed for Wigtown following the long disused route of the Creetown-Wigtown ferry
Flyers in Wigtown
Word was getting around in Wigtown
 Alice and Dougal in Wigtown
Alice and Douglas had arrived in Wigtown and made a standard from the tins they had collected
Trading Journeys Camp
The Wigtown Showfield was transformed into a Trading Journeys Camp
drumming in field
Where you could drum….
Moxie and her Troubadours
….compose a ballad with ‘Stove Herald’ Moxie and her troubadours…..
Mould making 1
…..make a mould for one of the 45 Wigtown Spoons under the close eye of artist Katie Anderson….
Jam making in showfield
….make jam……
Tea and scones
… jam with scones and tea…..
Boat arriving Wigtown
Then the boats arrived at Wigtown Harbour
Procession 1
It was time for the Trading Journeys procession to move everything we had gathered from the Showfield to the Town Centre
Boat in Procession
One of the boats joined in
…so did the foundry and the horse and cart…
arriving at County Buildings
…the procession arrived at County Buildings and made camp once more
Will and Megaphone
Will explained what would happen next
Firing up the foundry
everyone had a shot of firing up the foundry with pedal power
Dampers and Jam
Dampers and Jam were cooked
moulds waiting
the moulds people had made waited patiently
when the scrap aluminium melted in the foundry it was poured into the moulds
when the scrap aluminium melted in the foundry it was poured into the moulds
waiting for moulds to cool
Katie knows how long to wait….
opening the moulds
A Wigtown Spoon fresh from the mould
spoon moulds
freshly cast spoons waiting to be claimed by the people who had made the moulds
Finished Spoon 1
One of the first finished spoons – cleaned up by its owner……the wee copper tags had edition numbers 1-45
Finished Spoon 2
This beauty was made by our new friend Helen who had travelled all the way from Manchester to be part of Trading Journeys!
Spoon Dancers
The mysterious Spoon Dancers brought the day to a spectacular climax
Spoon dancers + tribe
The Trading Journeys Young Team who had been part of things all day – joined the Spoon Dancers for their exit stage left


Photography by: Kim Ayres, Matt Baker, Colin Hattersley, Will Marshall and Colin Tennant

News Project Updates

Crossing the Cree

Suffering from withdrawal symptoms from last weekends Nithraid? Never fear, there is another opportunity to join us as we make the journey to Wigtown Book Festival on Saturday, 27th of September. And we’re not just taking the A75 from Dumfries. Stove members are each making their own journeys the the former county town with its inheritance of martyrdom in Covenanting times and its modern booktown status, once the central crossroads in trading routes and pilgrimage routes through the West of the region.

First off Mark Zygadlo will be hoping for a little more wind than on Nithraid day as he and a flotilla of intrepid sailors make the journey across the Cree from the Ferry Bell at Creetown across the water to the old Wigtown Harbour. This flotilla is being kept to small numbers for safety reasons but if you wish to join the sailors there may still be an additional space left, please get in touch asap to Mark: [email protected]

button and uula-2lowres
Maneuvers 1 and 2, the boats are to be launched from a small slipway alongside the A75 before paddling under the road bridge.

Each boat will carry a small cargo of charcoal made at Creetown Primary School with the help of Phoebe and Will Marshall. This will be used to power Uula Jero’s pedal-powered foundry… but more on that later!

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 16.37.09
The route follows the Cree before making it’s way up the Bladnoch. The flotilla will be guided by Alan Wykes in his motor who knows the Bladnoch channel.

For more details on the stove network’s Trading Journeys, head across to our project page here

Trading Journeys has been created as part of the Wigtown Book Festival

News Project Updates

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Creetown Plays with Fire

Exciting things are happening in Creetown…

We have teamed up with Roddie Mathieson, who runs The Mobile Foundry, to create a bronze bell, which will form the centrepiece of the new sculpture. This is taking place next Saturday and will be open for everyone to come and witness.

‘This is an opportunity to see the casting process in action,’ says Roddie. ‘We will make moulds of the bell and clapper and pour them as part of a public demonstration. It is quite a spectacle and really exciting to watch.’

We will also be holding an all-day casting session at Creetown Primary School for pupils to get a chance to try their hand at the casting process. They will use moulds to make sculptures and will then use a charcoal furnace with bellows to cast them.

Exciting events are unfolding next week; we look forward to seeing everyone there!

News Project Updates

Creetown Appoints Nation’s Youngest Town Crier

A school girl has become Britain’s youngest town crier – at the tender age of eight.

Evie Cloy found herself with an opportunity when she turned up to a contest to find the next ‘bellman’ for the seaside town of Creetown in Dumfries. The town has been without a crier since 1962, when WW1 veteran James Blake died at the age of 74 after 33 years of service.

But not a single adult participated in the competition to find a successor, so Evie stepped up – with a very direct bid for the job. Looking the judges straight in the eye, she took a breath and yelled, “My name is Evie Cloy and I want to be the next town crier of Creetown.”

One of the panel, Allan Lowden, the town crier from nearby Gatehouse, said, “Evie might have been the smallest contestant but she definitely had the biggest voice.” The youngster, who has been given a handmade ceremonial jacket and will be appearing in the town over the next few months, said, “I’m really pleased. There hasn’t been a town crier in Creetown for 51 years, so I love my new job. I was a bit nervous but once I started shouting, I felt better. I’m quite glad no adults wanted the job.”

Her proud father David, 45, said, “She’ll be making announcements at local events and fetes.”

“There were two categories in the competition, over-16s and under-16s, but nobody over 16 turned up. It seems like the younger participants were more interested. Evie’s very pleased. Her younger sister Katie, who’s five, was excited about the competition but too shy to participate.”

Organiser Will Levi Marshall said, “It’s great that Creetown finally has a town crier again after all these years, and we’re delighted that Evie will be doing the honours. Recently, we’ve been exploring different methods of communication throughout Creetown’s history, including flags, the ancient ferry route to Wigtown, flares, bell casting and, of course, reviving the tradition of the Town Crier.”

James Blake, Creetown’s last town crier, was something of a local legend. After his death in 1962, his obituary recorded that “as a bellman, he had few equals, his fine resonant voice often being heard a mile away, and visitors to Creetown often stared in amazement when they met him on his rounds.

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