Inland Waterways Association of Ireland

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28 March, 2009 19:10
hi my names John Taylor and i was hopeing to find a picture of the Wideawake she was the last sand dredger on lough Erne drafting sand at castle Caldwell in the north of the lake and bringing it to Enniskillen at Jack Lemons yard this is about were the footbridge crosses to Erneside shopping centre,My Grand father John McManus was the last person to work the Wideawake as a sandboat and i was looking for a picture of her i have a small pic. but only of her decks and boiler if any one can help i would app. any help John

Re: wideawake
29 March, 2009 19:37
Hi John

Brian Cassells and Michael Savage might have knowledge of the barge Wideawake. I know Brian has reminisced about watching the sand barges on Erne in his youth.

What were its dimensions? What years are we talking about and do you know where it ended up? Was it transferred to Lough Neagh? There have been a wide range of sand barges on Lough Neagh over the years, many were transferred from all over Ireland and imported from the Netherlands. See link below.


Re: wideawake
31 March, 2009 13:36
Hi John,

contact the Lough Erne Yacht Club.

"The Erne’s first steam boat voyage was at Christmas 1842 by William Dargan’s Countess of Erne, a paddle steamer,, 32 tons, 20 HP, from the newly opened Ulster Canal lock to Enniskillen, calling at Lord Erne’s new quay for Lisnaskea.
Later Lord Erne flew his Commodore’s flag on his own paddle steamer, Elgington, LEYC’s first powered craft, built 1859 in Scotland. Some other LEYC steam launches were Firefly at Crom, Edward Sauderson’s Filibuster, he being an MP, and the work boat Wide-Awake, seen at the starts of early Fairy races, and abandoned today in Enniskillen.
Most famous was the Rossclare, later Lady of the Lake and Pandora, built 1868 and scrapped 1957, so the new Portora Lock need not be big enough to take her. Her funnel, wheel and deck rail stanchions all folded flat to get under the West Bridge in floods. Her stanchions survive, a rope strung through them, fencing off today’s LEYC lawn.
Edward Archdale’s steam launch was kept afloat in a fine boathouse, still there beside today’s big slip way in Castle Archdale caravan site. He was a keen Victorian engineer who once served on Brunel’s mighty Great Eastern.
The Erne’s most recent steamer voyages were only in 1996, when ten home built boats in a Steam Boat Association of Great Britain rally took part in the LEYC Summer Regatta– a fine sight, hissing steam and gleaming varnish.
Early motor cars and boats were at the first Fairy regattas. Lough Erne Motor Boat Club emerged, running speed and reliability trials and cruises. It wound up and passed some assets to LEYC. AGM 1964 then changed rules to add a motor boat Fleet Captain and this fleet grew strong. Forty years later, a valuable LEYC feature is a larger proportion of power craft than have most yacht clubs. Most are for cruising and moor at LEYC Marina or elsewhere about the lake."
© Michael Clarke, Historian LEYC, Ireland’s oldest yacht racing club

When the wind of change blows, some build walls, others build windmills.
Re: wideawake
01 April, 2009 19:30
hi all the Wideawake is still on the Erne she sank in the 60s and is in the back lough just opp Potora school im not sure of her size think about 70ft by 15ft but i entend to go round at low water and measuer her my grand father worked on her between the wars and up untill the 50s i was told she came from Belfast lough.
im a member of L.E.Y.C. and have been speaking to our historian but he has no pics eather chears John
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