At long last, the first of our series of community harbour fests took place in Rosslare Harbour, Ireland, on 17 and 18 June. The celebrations kicked off in the afternoon with a screening of David Begley’s beautiful Wexford Whale animated film that he produced in co-production with local school children. Over the course of several workshops, the children produced a series of charcoal drawings that Peter used as the foundation for his film. We were also extremely fortunate to have story-teller Peter Stevenson in tow who regaled the viewers with a selection of tales set on both sides of the Irish Sea.
In the evening then we finished this first day of community celebrations with the Irish premiere of At the Water’s Edge: Stories of the Irish Sea (2022). We were amply rewarded, not just with a viewership of about 100 locals and ferry passengers, but the weather and beach setting completely spoiled us. On a personal level, it was truly wonderful to meet the Irish participants from the Rosslare Harbour segment for the first time in the flesh, so to say. Until now, I had only had the pleasure to engage with them in a virtual manner through email and Zoom conversations.
Unfortunately, I had to take the first ferry back to Wales already the next morning, so I had to miss out on the sandcastle competition, the beach clean and a re-enactment of the Norman invasion staged all along the beach. Here is to hoping that Rosslare Harbour Fest will develop into a staple of the local community calendar so that in future years I will have the opportunity to return and enjoy some more of these and other activities.
Online we celebrated this first community event with the release of the short documentary Ports, Past and Present: Rosslare Harbour (2022). This film forms one of eight distinct segments in the feature film and following each community launch event around our five ports, we will release the corresponding community short film on the web before eventually making the full documentary available.
For now, I hope you enjoy this first or eight short releases. And if you would like to use this film to promote your business in the Rosslare Harbour area, feel free to host it on any of your websites or show it on a screen on your business premises.
Next stop then will be Pater Hall in Pembroke Dock on 31 July. Again, this event will be entirely free and there will be light refreshments and nibbles for our guests.