Filed under: Kieren Jones | Tags: amateur, Amateurism, Battle, Battle of Peasholm, Folk
Peasholm Park is a haven of tranquillity in our North Bay – unless the battle ships are taking pot shots at one another!
At times during the summer season, war breaks out on the Lake when 20ft replica boats recreate the tensions of a battle at sea.
For more than 80 years the “Battle of Peasholm” has been played out for 30 minutes three times every week during the summer season, delighting audiences who still find it hard to believe that these boats are mostly manpowered. Until 1929, all the boats were manpowered, but then electricity was introduced and now only the larger boats need to be steered by Council employees.
The British convoy steams round the island, led by the armed merchantmanJervis Bay and the Royal Mail SteamerAsturias converted to a troopship. The RMS Asturias sails on, regardless of one funnel being on fire. After a few minutes the flame did go out and smoke poured from the funnel again.
The HMS Achilles, with a powerful battery of fireworks mounted on her bows. Each of the ships is twenty or so feet long, powered by car batteries, and is piloted by a single park employee.
As soon as the battle is over, a large portion of the audience runs round to hire boats and pedalos to go out on the lake. The enemy battleship remains a hazard to shipping. It’s not often you see a battleship about to be rammed by a giant swan.
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