Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Dover Bronze Age boat joins the fleet at Boulogne’s Fête de la Mer, 10th – 15th July

“Formidable”, “Fantastique”, “Incroyable”, were typical responses among the hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors who enjoyed seeing and hearing about the reconstruction of the Dover Bronze Age boat at this popular marine festival held at Boulogne. The festival’s full programme of activities associated with marine culture stretched around the Quai Gambetta and Napoleon dock keeping the many local Boulonnais and tourists entertained. Fête de la Mer is a biannual event attracting typically hundreds of thousands of visitors over its five days with live music, demonstrations and displays, sea trips and opportunities to try all manner of sea foods.
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
On this occasion, at the seventh Fête de la Mer to be staged, our role was to talk to the many visitors about the discovery of the Dover Bronze Age boat, the building and voyages of the experimental reconstruction and the associated project, Boat 1550 BC. The boat attracted huge interest with people genuinely in awe of the diverse skills of our Bronze Age ancestors – and of those who built the replica! We did a fine job of engaging the French, Swiss, Dutch and Belgian visitors and the two non-native French speakers in our small team had loads of opportunity to practice spoken French during the 10 hour days. Peter and Marion are now fluent in talking about willow withies and beeswax – pas de problème!
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
This was the first time the replica boat had been back to Boulogne since it was the centrepiece of the exhibition ‘Beyond the Horizon’ in the Chateau-Musée back in 2012. It was a great pleasure to meet up once again with our colleagues Angélique, Séverine, Dominique and Laurent with whom we had worked so hard on staging the exhibition. They were thrilled to have the boat back for a few days, now a battered and worn working boat quite different to the pristine exhibit that was on show in the museum! It was most heart-warming to see that the spirit of camaraderie and international co-operation is still alive and well even after the end of the BOAT 1550 BC project!
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
Replica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, BoulogneReplica Bronze Age Boat: Fête de la Mer, Boulogne
The Fête was organised by the Town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Conseil Régional de Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the Conseil Général de Pas-de-Calais.



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