Enniskillen Castle was a hive of activity on Saturday celebrating The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) Heritage Skills Festival taking place as part of Festival Lough Erne. Those in attendance had the opportunity to watch expert craftsmen and women carry out a range of live demonstrations including willow weaving, leather work, blacksmithing, rope making, rush and straw craft, beekeeping, wool spinning, bread making and thatching and then have a try at learning these skills of the past. The event brought alive the skills of bygone days, celebrating these magnificent traditional skills and encouraging a new generation of potential master crafts men and women.
Row the Erne provided rowing taster session in their traditional 33ft Curragh and Lough Erne heritage showcased an 85-year-old restored sailing craft. Visitors enjoyed the whistle of a Foster 1914 steam traction engine in conjunction with Head Hunters Railway Museum. Whilst also enjoying storytelling and musical entertainment from Sean Magee, Erne Highland Dancers, Fermanagh School of Music and Performing Arts and Fermanagh Concert Band.
Elmarie Swanepoel, LELP Programme Manager stated:
“We are delighted to be here today to reminisce and celebrate the skills that were once common place throughout the Lough Erne region. It is fantastic to see people here today across the generations sharing their stories and skills, with one another. It is essential that we are able to showcase these skills through events such as today and our projects in order to keep the rich heritage of these unique skills alive for future generations.”
A marvellous day which would not have been possible without the support of National Lottery Heritage Fund, Enniskillen Bid, Enniskillen Castle Museum and Festival Lough Erne.