HOW IS THAT LONG SHED COMING ALONG?
The space has taken shape …
The open area behind the river flood wall is nearly finished. Tons of concrete and paving have been laid, and we are looking forward to the final hand-overs, currently in negotiation.
Already, some events have gone ahead on the space, even before works were finally finished, though unfortunately this year’s Maritime Woodbridge event had to be set aside until 2018. In June, The King’s River performances showed just how versatile that space is going to be, and later, The Shuck Festival went ahead as planned. Time will surely prove that one of the most useful products of the waterfront development is this unique space for the town, connected to the river. We’ll see a wide range of events there that will bring our community together.
Sae Wylfing had the honour of being the first boat to emerge from the Longshed onto the open space, having arrived there by road for the Shuck Festival.
The combined muscle of CARTER’s workmen overcame all obstacles to get our half-size Sutton Hoo ship replica on to the new surface. The Waterfront Square has no through traffic and enjoys the superb river backdrop – just the place for music and markets, rallies and displays, of art and entertainment, but separated by times of simple peaceful enjoyment. Planning is already going ahead for the Spirit of Beowulf event next May 4-7. This is going to be so exciting. If you are amongst the ‘disappointed’ that missed The King’s River, watch this space.
What is happening next?
Bryan Knibbs, the Riverside Trust’s experienced project manager, looks after Sae Wylfing. He has also been the Trust’s liaison link with the builders about details of the development. Through his involvement, he fully understands the potential of the space of the Waterfront Square. As soon as possible he will begin to lead the WRT fit-out team inside the Longshed. Here he surveys the adventurous possibilities of the space.
The mezzanine area in the Longshed has to be furnished as a Heritage Resource Centre, and will house a range of interesting activities that will usually involve practical participation.
On the ground floor will be a fully-fitted workshop . The full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship is the long term plan, but the first craft to be built here will be 22ft St Ayles skiffs. but These four-oared craft are built from kits, to ensure that they are all the same. This is important, because it means that rowing competitions between them are fair. These skiffs, and the rowing competitions, are exciting a lot of interest up and down the coast
The people who want to build them, and others not involved in the build, are keen to to row them. Age is no barrier to involvement. Men and women, old and young, locally and from further afield can meet in social harmony and friendly rivalry. Woodbridge Riverside Trust, with the help of Suffolk Coastal District Council, has already started the process of acquiring boat kits, and some volunteers have already come forward to be involved in the building process.
The waterfront is at the heart of our community, so if you want to become involved in a mission to explore new worlds of experience, go to our websites: