Friday, 11 March 2011

A sad day for Johnshaven

It is with great sadness that I report that Johnshaven's most iconic building was destroyed by fire last night.  Built as a church around 1850, it has more recently been used for the building and repairing of boats.

Anyone who has visited the village in the last year or so will probably have seen Richard's latest boat at various stages of production - it's an absolute work of art.  Seeing it gradually taking shape makes you really appreciate the skill involved in boat building.

Since it became too large to work on it inside, the boat has been kept outside the building and, remarkably, seems to have escaped any fire damage.  Sadly, the building itself and all Richard's tools and materials will have been destroyed.

I don't know the cause of the fire or whether what remains of the building can be saved.  It is a real local landmark, and is the building that features most prominantly on just about every painting I've ever seen of the village. 

At Hogmanay this is where the villagers gather to hear the bell on top ring in the New Year.

Our thoughts are with Richard today.  I can't imagine how he must be feeling.


  1. Was just hearing about this today from Donna Craig. Donna's brothers and family had to be evacuated from their homes behind the building. A sad day indeed. Thankfully nobody hurt.....and hopefully the building can be rebuilt...

  2. What a lovely piece you've written Kate.
    Thank you.

  3. Visited Johnshaven last year on a gorgeous sunny day. I took photos with the old church in the background. I'm so saddened to hear of tha damage and hope it can be rebuilt.

  4. My husbands great grandfather was born in Johnshaven. We visited there in 2003 and again in 2010 (May) to celebrate his birthday in the town of his ancestors. We LOVE the town. Saw this post as a result of searching the name of the Church there that held the Honors. So sorry for all those affected by this terrible fire. We live in Salem Oregon. Rich and Debra Mackie


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