How many ships sail in the wood? Withdrawn: Luke Jerram: Leigh Woods: Bristol

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A traditional rhyme:

The man in the wilderness asked of me,
How many strawberries grow in the sea?
I answered him, as I thought good:
“As many red herrings as grow in the wood.”

There are many fewer herring in the sea since this rhyme appeared. Excessive fishing effort has seen to that.

Another version goes:

The man in the wilderness asked of me,
“How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?”
I answered him, as I thought good,
“As many a ship as sails in the wood.”

Now in Leigh Woods some fishing boats are indeed sailing in the wood, their days of hauling fish from the sea long gone.J71_4495s

Luke Jerram’s installation Withdrawn places the retired boats in a clearing surrounded by tall trees. Fresh green leaves greeted the launch of the boats on 26 April 2015.

Luke Jerram at the Launch
Luke Jerram at the Launch

Well if you have a boat or two to launch then you must have a launch party. Bristol’s Youth Choir sang on the boats on a sunny afternoon. Free from sea breezes, or indeed any wind, the acoustics were great with voices rising clearly through the branches to the sky.

Junior Choir aboard the Seahorse
Junior Choir aboard the Seahorse

Choirs and audience were kept on the move from boat to boat as juniors and seniors sang sea- and Bristol-themed songs conducted by David Ogden and Martin Le Poidevin

Senior Boys sing sea shanty, conductor Martin de Poidevin
Senior Boys sing sea shanty, conductor Martin de Poidevin

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Senior Girls on the Seagull
Senior Girls on the Seagull

 

Wood anemones and bluebells are coming into flower, it’s a good time to take a walk in Leigh Woods and enjoy the enigmatic boats!

Veteran Propellor, resting.
Veteran Propeller, resting.
Seaworn Seagull
Seaworn Seahorse

 

Access from A369, Bristol to Portishead road, first right after the lights at Beggar Bush Lane and along Coronation Avenue.  Level path but may be muddy after rain.