News Project Updates

Nithraid – The Results are In!

The Whitesands came alive this weekend – as the Nithraid did indeed come up with the tide. From the starting point at Carsethorn, thirteen boats made the trip up the Caul – with first place being awarded to Piella, skippered by Adam Booth with a time of 2 hours and 6 minutes. But a challenging race it proved, as sand banks, strong currents and low winds proved the course to be a tricky one. 

Photo credits: Colin Tennant – see more here
The Salt Cow being lowered into the Nith by the winning team Photo credits: Oriel Marshal – see more here

The Salt Cow was paraded through the streets of Dumfries with all ceremonial care which gathered numbers as it passed the Midsteeple, rounded the Burns statue (twice), down the Vennels and across the Devorgilla bridge to continue a loop around the river bridges to the beating of drums (and diggeri-moos).

Banners were released over the old bridge as the boats arrived, proclaiming the words of Dumfries including:

Seize the potential.

On the brink.


Cut rates.

Despite the slightly dreich conditions – spectators arrived and lined both sides of the river to behold the unusual sight. Many thanks go out to everyone who was involved and to all who turned out on Saturday.

News Project Updates

The Nithraid

From now till September, The Stove will be inviting people to contribute to an event that celebrates the River Nith’s importance – both historically and today. From its role as a trade route delivering economic lifeblood to Dumfries, to its significance as a conservation area, and to individuals and groups who find peace, tranquility and joy from its banks and passing moments.

Forming part of the Environmental Arts Festival Scotland, The Nithraid will culminate in a daring dinghy race from Carsethorn to the very centre of Dumfries on Saturday 21st September. As the equinox pushes the tide to its annual peak, intrepid sailors will tackle the river head-on, surfing (maybe literally) the incoming tide to reach the finishing line at the Caul in Dumfries, where the salt water and fresh water meet.

When the boats arrive in the town, they will be greeted by a sculptured cow cast in salt and The Stove’s huge fabric banners floating downstream from the Old Bridge, welcoming them to Dumfries with messages from the townspeople. We would like your help writing those messages.

We’ll be decorating banners at community events in August and September and will turn to our social media channels for inspiration too. As we gather words and phrases, we’ll start to build a wall of words. Then our bicycle-powered poetry machine will mix them up and stick them together to form messages for our banners.

The Stove’s community fun day takes place in Lochside on Sunday 18th August and we hope to do a similar event in Dumfries town centre on Tuesday 10th September. The social media initiative will kick off in August. Keep your eyes peeled for #NithRaid on Twitter and Facebook.

Our River Nith; the passenger, the deliverer and the exporter. With untold tales from its length and breadth, and its historical depths. From its rise in the East Ayrshire hills to Ards point, 15 miles south of Dumfries, where it meets the Solway Firth and greets the wider world – connecting the town locally, nationally and globally.

News Project Updates

Nith Scoping – about to sweep the nation

Environmental Artist Hannah Brackston has spent 3 months exploring the different relationships that people have with the River Nith in Dumfries. Through the week of Inbetween:Dumfries the artist will be inviting people peer into the depths of the river using specially created Nith Scoping equipment. Also, look out for Hannah’s limited edition newspaper all about the Nith – available at venues around town.

Here are the details of how Nith Scoping works…..for detailed times and locations download the full inbetween programme or look in The Stove windows (100 High St, DG1 2BJ)

Artist Hannah says:

“Nithscoping is a new and activity I have invented to provide people in Dumfries with an exciting experience of their river from a perspective from which it is seldom seen. It addresses the challenge and struggle we can have in trying to understand and engage with natural forces (such as rivers) which we no longer have an industrial use for or much control of. In the case of the Nith in Dumfries, the river bed is one of the most talked of topics in the town, not because most people have actually seen it, but because it lies at the heart of strongly held dredging debate. It is trapped invisibly between those who want it to be removed to solve the towns enduring flooding problems and environmental groups and geologists who work to protect its essential biodiversity. In my attempt to understand this debate further I was troubled by a question; surely it is more meaningful to debate something we can actually look at? several adapted pieces of piping, magnifying lens, some recycled bicycle inner tubes, duck tape, truck tarpaulin and empty water bottles later, this has become possible…”

Nith Scoping Times:

Monday 5th Nov: 08.52 – 14.59 (Whitesands)
Tuesday 6th Nov: 09.40 – 15.50 (Whitesands)
Wednesday 7th Nov: 10.43 – 16.57 (Greensands)
Thursday 8th Nov: 12.00 – 18.14 (Whitesands)
Friday 9th Nov: 13.13 – 19.26 (Whitesands)

Saturday 10th Nov ……view all the Nith Scoping equipment and talk to the artist about the weeks experiences – come to The Stove between 3pm and 4pm.

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