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Boat painting and fence repairs – all in a day’s work for ‘Keepers of the Lough’

KEEPERS of the Lough’ continues on Thursday night with UTV bringing viewers the delights of Strangford Lough in this new series, which takes a look at this enchanting part of the Northern Irish countryside through the eyes of the people who live and work in and around it.

Narrated by Patrick Kielty, the series reveals what life is like in and around the lough.

This is the fourth episode in the six-part series, and we get to meet more new people who use the lough for all sorts of reasons, and also catch up with some familiar faces. We meet the RNLI’s newest female recruit, see what a race between 100-year-olds looks like, and also see how Killinchy wooden clocks are made.

The episode rightly kicks off on the water, and we meet John Murray, who lives a few hundred yards from the lifeboat station. He has 40 years’ service as a volunteer with the RNLI. Laura Delaney lives in Cloughey and has been training with the Portaferry station for 18 months. They both explain their roles in a training exercise.

Alistair Morrison, from Killyleagh, who normally repairs fiberglass boats, works at repairing a flagpole for Quoile Yacht Club. He has a tight deadline. He also tells the story of fixing a statue of Jesus. Once repaired, he sets about delivering it to Quoile Yacht Club.

We return to Castle Espie, and see Katie Spencer (originally from Sunderland) try to determine the sex of the ducks at hatchery. There is much excitement when she discovers a male!

We’re then off to Whiterock to meet Peter Martin, who makes KIllinchy clocks. He’s always admired them since the 1960s and we get to see his workshop as he tries to solve a problem with one of his many clocks.

In the second part of the programme, we’re back on the water with the river class of sailing boat. There were 12 built 100 years ago, all named after rivers in Northern Ireland. We meet Kerry Edwards from Strangford Sailing Club in Whiterock, and get to share the excitement of the race with her and her crew.

John Scott, from Killyleagh, has been working at Ringhaddy Boatyard since he helped his father as a teenager. Today he has his rusty old barge out of the water for a paint job. He talks about the barge and his well-loved tractor from Belarus. John is not concerned about how things look!

We’re then off to Chapel Island to repair fencing with Thomaz Ciesielski (originally from Poland) of the National Trust. He explains they can only go when the tide is out and then they are against the clock to get the work done, and to make sure they don’t get stranded. They rely on the tenant farmer to drive them across.

The episode rounds off back at Ringhaddy where Robert McCourt tells us about his dog who latched onto him in Mexico and has sailed with him ever since. He and John Scott chat about dogs and lifejackets!

n ‘Keepers of the Lough’ is produced by County Down based Green Inc, and is sponsored by ‘House Proud Furniture’.

n You can watch this episode on Thursday, December 2 at 7.30pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes

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