The Jumbo Punt Launch with The Rambling Band
The Jumbo Punt launch hushed crowd as pastor Matthew Care blessed the new arrival as he has done for each of the jumbos. Former BBC radio presenter, Janette Eathorn e then sprinkled the boat – and the crowd – with water from Fenten Ia (St.Ia’s Well). She wished all that use her every bit as much pleasure as she had derived from the original. Both punts that Jonny Nance has launched at St.Ives are replicas of of her father’s punt which Jonny’s father, Dicon, had recorded in 1975. The mayor, Cllr. Ron Tulley then acknowledged the positive contribution that the Jumbo Association has made to the community.
By now the tide had reached the foot of the slip. he punt was brought to the water’s edge and was shoved off as Jonny Nance clambered aboard. After a brief ‘scully of honour’ he brought her to the foreshore to take on the first boatload of Scully Day students.
First up was Alex Cole, celebrating his 16th birthday by learning to scully the boat that he’d watched taking shape in a barn on his mother’s farm in Devon. His younger brother Tom was quick to acquire the knack and was soon driving half a ton of boat and crew at a respectable pace. Phil Slater (son of the former Fore St. Methodist preacher) and Peter Lee joined other volunteers in order to meet the demand of those wishing to try their hand at this ancient technique. The Ambling Band, having arrived from Bristol, appeared at the Lifeboat corner and processed, New Orleans-fashion, to the slipway where they delighted the crowd with their theatrical arrangements of material ranging from ‘Besame Mucho’ to ‘Pick up the Pieces’ by the Average White Band.
Eventually, even the band took to the water continuing their performance in the middle of the harbour. Then, with the sousaphone in the bows acting like a sail, they turned and ran for the shore before the freshening breeze for the Jumbo Punt Launch
The new punt has been taken back to Devon to be completed. It will return to the harbour, complete with a mast and rudder, to join the jumbos for the start of the season. In a departure from tradition, she will carry a standing lugsail so that novices may be taught to sail within the safety of the harbour.
Members of the Jumbo Association have been much encouraged by the increased level of support demonstrated over the weekend and wish to express sincere thanks to everyone who have helped make their anniversary and Jumbo Punt Launch a success.