Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club (SC049939) was established on 30th April 2019. We build and row coastal rowing boats, encouraging everyone to take part.
We are based at Harbour Row, Isle of Whithorn, on the Machars peninsular, 22 miles south of Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire.
You can reach us at the Isle from Newton Stewart and villages across the Machars on 416 and 415 buses, run by Stagecoach, or by car or bike via the A746 or A747.
We came about through the Isle of Whithorn Community Council Wigtown Bay Skiff Project.
We work with others locally and nationally and invite people of all ages and abilities to enjoy our fabulous coastal waters safely, in an environmentally friendly way.
Our Coastal Rowing Club operates as a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) which means we have a charitable constitution, trustees who live locally, and a membership to which we are responsible. We are regulated by the Office of Scottish Charity Register.
Our purposes are simple.
- To support the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science, the club will promote and support the building and use of coastal rowing boats in the Wigtown Bay area centred on the harbour at the Isle of Whithorn.
- To support advancement of public participation in sport, the club will promote coastal rowing as a healthy activity, which can be done safely by people of all ages at a level suited to their competence, experience and state of fitness and which in addition provides unique opportunities to be close to nature and wildlife.
- To support the provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended, the club will encourage members of the general public, of all ages to take part in the activities offered by the Club.
- Our current trustees are Chair Alastair Scoular; Vice-Chair Raymond Mundle; Treasurer Jannine Kelly; Secretary Vikki Reay-Martin, Ruby Bell, Shaun McGuire and Rowing Captains Becki Castle and John McGuire.
- We have nearly 70 members young to young at heart, and welcome all to join. We are members of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.
- The Wigtown Bay Skiff Project was funded by private donation, Newton Stewart Round Table, and grant funding from EMFF, and Scot Gov through Dumfries and Galloway Leader; Fisheries Local Action Group.
- We now raise money for the club by membership fees, fundraising activities, merchandise and seeking grant funding for larger projects.
Chairman Alastair Scoular
I was born 24/12/ 1972 and have lived all my life in Isle of Whithorn. My grandfather was the minister in Glasserton, and my family goes back generations in the area. My parents own Tonderghie Estate and took over the Steam Packet Hotel in 1984. I attended Whithorn primary school, then Glenalmond College, Perthshire before completing an MA (hons) in Geography at St Andrews University then a post graduate MSc in Rural and Regional Resource Management and Planning at Aberdeen University.
I have run the Steam Packet Hotel Company since university and developed and diversified the business successfully over the years. I have considerable experience of the hospitality and tourist industry along with the knowledge of running a profitable and successful business.The business now employs over 30 staff in season and is a significant local employer. Recently I have successfully started Five Kingdoms Brewery and this business is growing strongly.
My hobbies include sailing and fishing and I have a great depth of knowledge and experience of the maritime sector.
Chairman’s role; The figurehead of Wigtown Bay CRC, chairing meetings, setting the standards, and leading the way for the club. I stand for our Constitution. I want everyone to have fun accessing the coastline of the Isle of Whithorn safely.
Vice-Chairman Raymond Mundle
I served as a Biomedical Scientist in the NHS for 42 years and enjoyed most of them. Along the way, I was introduced to sailing by workmates and became very firmly hooked. It was on a trip to Islay that I first encountered a St Ayles skiff. I had just moored up in Port Ellen when a group of youngsters careered along the pontoon and took off in a beautiful rowing boat. This immediately sparked my interest in what I felt would be a wonderful community activity. Building and rowing these craft ticks so many boxes for strengthening communities, involving all age groups and backgrounds in a combined effort to learn new skills, meet new friends and take to the water together. And so my involvement with skiff building and was born.
I had rowed for many years previously. My father and I fished the lochs of Scotland at any opportunity, and from the age of about 10, I was a willing, if slightly underpowered. outboard engine on weekly fishing trips. I have had the good fortune to be involved in building three skiffs, in Stranraer, The Isle of Whithorn and Portpatrick, meeting some wonderful people and together producing boats that many people have come to enjoy.
I am honoured to serve The Wigtown Bay CRC in any capacity and look forward to seeing the club grow and prosper. I also look forward to more sailing, fishing and rowing. I have recently developed an interest in the architecture of river Nith bridges and have made a close study of one in particular. So, build well, row hard and enjoy good company on and off the water.
Vice- Chairman’s role; I support Wigtown Bay CRC’s Chairman, chairing meetings, setting the standards, and leading the way for the club. I stand for our Constitution. I want everyone to have fun building and maintaining skiffs and rowing safely for fun.
Treasurer Jannine Kelly
I have lived at the Isle of Whithorn for over 10 years. For 22 years I was employed by the Royal Bank of Scotland in various roles but mainly in a customer service capacity.
In 2003 I joined my late husband in the day to day running of his large scaffolding company. It was based in Salford, employed about 95 employees. At this time the company was the largest independent scaffolding company in North West England.In 2007 we decided that a change of life direction was needed and the business was sold.
This enabled us to move on to our next project which was to construct an apartment building on Harbour Row at the Isle of Whithorn. The ‘Ninian’s Landing’ apartments building consists of 9 apartments. Four were subsequently sold and I have retained 5 apartments. I now live in one apartment and the others are the basis of my successful holiday let business which operates from April to November.
Treasurer’s Role; I bring my wealth of experience in business to the role of Treasurer. I am responsible for the club’s bank account, ensuring we balance our books, and with the other trustees, have collective responsibility for submitting our annual figures to the OSCR.
Rowing Captain Becki Castle
A professional photographer by trade, my current role is as Business Development Manager for South Machars Community Centre in Whithorn, a hop along from the Isle of Whithorn.
Born and bred in Derbyshire, just outside the Peak District, I am a keen walker and there I learned to row in fine boats on the river Derwent, which ignited my passion for being on the water. I am a strong believer in the physical and mental benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle. I enjoy walking, paddle boarding, bee keeping and of course rowing. I am a trustee and founding member of the Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club and a member of Stranraer Coastal Rowing Club. Throughout the winter months, I provide online circuit training sessions for our club members.
Rowing Captain’s Role; Like John, I am responsible for all things safety to do with rowing, for encouraging good safe technique, bringing on new rowers and for promoting the club. I also have responsibility for devising training schedules, encouraging competitive rowing.
Rowing Captain John McGuire
I was born and raised in the Isle as part of a seafaring family spending a good deal of time around boats and the sea. I took up sailing dinghies in Wigtown Bay aged 13 winning the odd trophy in the process. I went fishing at the age of 16 and made a career catching scallops and Queen scallops on dredgers from Kirkcudbright and the Isle of Man.
I now own and fish my own lobster boat out of the Isle of Whithorn. I also spent a few years as one of the youngest instructors in Scotland teaching sea survival to fishermen and school leavers.
I have a variety of hobbies from football to reading but coastal rowing has rapidly become my favourite pass time over the last few months both for leisure and in competition, I find it brilliant for both my mental and physical health. I hope to help the club keep growing and moving forward by taking an active part in the growth of our club.
Rowing Captain’s Role; Like Becki, I am responsible for all things safety to do with rowing, for encouraging good safe technique, bringing on new rowers and for promoting the club. I also have responsibility for devising training schedules, encouraging competitive rowing.
Secretary Vikki Reay-Martin
Born in 1967 I holidayed regularly as a child with family in Dumfries and Galloway. Educated to post graduate level in Visual Art at UCW Aberystwyth, with PGCE from Birmingham, I taught secondary and adult education before joining West Mercia Constabulary in 1996.
Before retiring at the rank of Detective Chief Inspector, I developed the Sexual Assault Referral Centre in West Mercia; devised training in Professional Curiosity and Vulnerability for Warwickshire Police and the College of Policing, and managed complex investigations. I qualified for a PGCert in the Dynamics of Domestic Violence from University of Worcester. I was an active member of the Board of Trustees for West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre for 2 years as it grew in capacity.
A regular visitor to the Isle of Whithorn for 15 years, I moved here with my husband Jon in 2017. I volunteer for Isle Futures; helped establish Stranraer Coastal Rowing Club, helped re-establish our annual village pantomime after a 16 year hiatus; and am an active member of Isle of Whithorn Rural, and Newton Stewart Inner Wheel.
An SCA Paddlesport Instructor and PVG registered, I am also an exercise to music instructor with Dumfries and Galloway Active
Communities. My passion is for bringing people together, encouraging sharing of intergenerational skills. I project manage our fabulous crew of boat builders, coach, cox and row.
Secretary’s Role; taking minutes, keeping the club’s records, internal and external communications.
Charity Trustee Ruby Bell
I was born in the Isle of Whithorn quite a few years ago now. I went to school here in the village and was one of the handful of children attending when it finally closed.
After leaving school I have had a variety of jobs ranging from bingo caller to office work. I worked in the local pub years ago (twice) and was asked back to cover maternity leave. That was 23 years ago, and I am still there!!
I am an active member of the Community Council and help to organise events. When possible, I volunteer with other groups in the village.
In my spare time during Lockdown I started walking, and finding places I have heard of but never had time to visit. I am a member of the Wigtown Bay Sailing Club and enjoy sailing and kayaking. When regattas were held many years ago I would participate in the rowing races and am looking forward to learning to row in a team, and learn new skills.
My role within the board is to ensure that the charity meets its constitution objects, and I contribute to the board decision making, bringing forward ideas from members of the club and the wider community. I also publicise the club and, working with the other board members, link into other clubs and societies in the village and wider.
Charity Trustee Shaun McGuire
Born in 1958 to parents Sarah and Ernie McGuire, I am the 4th generation of my family to live in the Isle.
I was educated at Whithorn Primary, Douglas Ewart High School, and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.
I was brought up to live and let live, and to do what I can to help the Isle and its people.
My dad was a founder member of Wigtown Bay Sailing Club. I recall the Isle of Whithorn when the grade B listed warehouses were in place on Harbour Row, and MacWilliams store existed without its lean. I witnessed the development of the houses on Tonderghie. Our harbour used to be much busier than it is now, with many of the day fishing boats now travelling to Drummore. I recall our busy regattas and harbourside events.
I have experience of board working as I served as a board member, including Chair, and Vice Chair of Isle Futures, for some years.
I have been the Harbourmaster since 1998. I bring my experience as a fisherman, my lifetime of knowledge of the waters of this area, my knowledge of Isle heritage and my experience as harbourmaster to the board.
My role in the board is to ensure that the charity meets its constitution objects, and I contribute to the board decision making. I bring forward ideas from wider members of the community, publicise the club and link into other community clubs and societies.