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When: Saturday 8 October 2022, 10am to 4pm
Where: Bristol Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Spike Island, Bristol BS1 6XN and Underfall Yard
Cost: Entry to this event is free and refreshments will be provided. Please bring your own lunch or purchase from the Underfall Café.

We have a rich maritime tradition in the UK and a vibrant community of craftspeople building a wide range of boats, but are our traditional wooden boat building skills at risk?

Heritage Crafts and the Wooden Boat Builders Trade Association are bringing a group of experts and stakeholders together to ask this question and to consider the case for traditional wooden boat building being added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts, with the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust.

We will be joined by a panel of industry experts who will give presentations, participate in a panel discussion and be on hand for questions during the day. The aim for the day is to engage attendees in discussion and to actively consult with all participants. You will be asked to complete a survey when booking in order to gather boat building data to inform our discussion.

Click here to book



  • Gail McGarva is a traditional wooden boat builder. Her specialist area is the building of replicas, or as she prefers to call them ‘daughterboats’, breathing life into a new generation of traditional boats. Gail integrates her work as a traditional boat builder with her work as a speaker and workshop facilitator, bringing to life the stories all boats have to tell about their communities and their shores.
  • Colin Henwood is a boat builder with 40 years of experience in building, restoring and caring for wooden boats on the Thames. He is the current Chair of the Wooden Boat Builders Trade Association. He also writes, teaches practical boat building skills and provides consultancy on traditional wooden boats.
  • Eivind Falk is Director of Håndverksinstituttet the Norwegian Crafts Institute. In 2019 he was instrumental in supporting the nomination of Nordic clinker boat traditions for inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, an international acknowledgement that the building and use of Nordic clinker-built boats should be preserved for the future.
  • Stephen Beresford is Senior Conservator, Chartered Engineer and Maritime Heritage Consultant at Windermere Jetty Museum. He is also a skilled traditional boat builder with a passion for conserving historic vessels.
  • Will Reed is Principal of the Boat Building Academy Lyme Regis. Will is a passionate maker and has spent many years working professionally as a furniture designer/maker and boat builder. Teaching has always been an important part of life and through the BBA Will helps to pass on the knowledge through first class training.

There will also be a tour of Underfall Yard and an opportunity to visit the maritime businesses that are based in the historic site. Underfall Yard was restored from a derelict state into a thriving boatyard of separate small companies around a Trust operated Slipway. It also has a visitor centre and café.


How to find the Create Centre

The Create Centre is in one of the three large red brick warehouses in Cumberland Basin, halfway between Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain.

On foot

  • The city centre is only 1.8 miles away – a pleasant 30-minute walk along the docks.
  • Temple Meads railway station is about 2 miles and Broadmead bus station 2.5 miles.

By bike

  • From the city centre the Festival Way cycle track runs alongside Cumberland Road (riverside) to Create and on to Long Ashton.
  • From Bedminster the cycle track crosses Greville Smyth park, crossing the old railway bridge and on to Create.
  • From Pill the cycle track runs along the old rail track, under the suspension bridge and over the old rail bridge and on to Create.
  • Plenty of cycle parking is provided inside and outside the building, and showers and lockers are available for visitors.
  • Visit for bike route maps and to read about their fantastic loan bike scheme.

By bus

  • Long Ashton Park & Ride to city centre operated by First West of England
  • The m2 serves Long Ashton Park & Ride, Ashton Vale, Ashton Gate, Cumberland Basin, Spike Island, Redcliff Hill, Temple Meads, Cabot Circus and Broadmead. Please visit for more information.
  • The 505 Wessex Connect bus stops at Merchants Road, Hotwells. This service runs from Southmead to Bower Ashton via Redland, Clifton and Hotwells.
  • A number of out of town bus services run regularly from Broadmead bus station and the city centre along Hotwells Road, stopping just before Junction Lock Bridge, marked by the red dot above. Buses that stop here are the 71, 505, 903, Portway Park & Ride, X1 all the way through to X9, including X3A, and X54.
    For full details of the bus timetables and routes, please call TRAVELINE South West on 0871 200 22 33

By train

  • Temple Meads railway station, serviced by trains from across the country, is situated around two miles from Create, approximately 45 minutes walk or a short taxi ride. You can also hire a Brompton folding bike from Temple Meads Station, available 24/7 from fully automated docks. For more information please visit Brompton Bike Hire at

By car

  • There is very limited permit parking at the Create Centre as well as 3 hour Pay and Display. As an environment centre they positively encourage other forms of transport. If you must come by car, please allow plenty of time to park as you may have to park within a five minute walk of the centre.
  • The car park immediately adjacent to Create includes 5 accessible bays; a ‘blue’ badge must be displayed when using these and your badge will act as your permit.
  • Long Ashton and Portway Park and Ride services are available with the buses stopping on Hotwells Road. For more information visit