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Eustace Rogers, the last coracle man of Ironbridge, Shropshire

Eustace Rogers, the last coracle man of Ironbridge, Shropshire


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Eustace Rogers, the last coracle man of Ironbridge, Shropshire

He is pictured with a coracle on his back at the bottom of his garden on the banks of the River Severn. Mr Rogers died aged 88 in 2003. First published The Times Date: 1987

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Media ID 19534949

© Philip Dunn / Mary Evans Picture Library

1987 Boatman Coracle Dunn Eighties Englishman Eustace Ironbridge Philip Rogers Severn Shropshire


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the image of Eustace Rogers, the last coracle man of Ironbridge, Shropshire, as he stands at the bottom of his garden on the banks of the River Severn, with a coracle balanced on his back. Taken in the 1980s, this image is a poignant reminder of a bygone era in English history. Eustace Rogers, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 88, was a true master of the ancient art of coracle making and rowing. Coracles are small, round, open-topped boats, traditionally made from hazel saplings, covered with tarred canvas, and used primarily for fishing and transportation on the shallow, fast-flowing rivers of Wales and the English borderlands. The River Severn, which flows through Ironbridge and Shropshire, has a rich history of coracle use, dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain. However, by the time this photograph was taken, the use of coracles was becoming increasingly rare. Eustace Rogers was one of the last remaining practitioners of this ancient craft. In the photograph, Eustace's weathered face and worn clothing speak of a lifetime spent on the river. The coracle on his back, with its distinctive shape and simple design, is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who lived and worked along the Severn. This image, first published in The Times in 1987, captures the essence of a man and his connection to the land and water that shaped his life. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage and the traditions that define us as a people.

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