Jason and Ben from GalGael with the Singing Shiprivetting woodbending wood at GalGaelden Syngende Skipetthe Singing Ship taking shapea rope grommetJason from GalGael adding shields to the boat

GalGael Trust

Pupils from Arrochar Primary (P2-P7) visited the GalGael workshops in Govan to learn about traditional boat-building techniques, very similar to the ones that the Vikings would have used.

Huge thanks to the friendly staff and volunteers at the workshop, especially Ben and Jason, who organised a range of hands-on activities. The children learnt about the different sorts of wood used to build boats, and how to steam and bend the planks and rivet them together. They even had a go at making rope grommets, which are circles of rope that seem to have a myriad of uses, both on and off boats!

The children were divided into groups named after different types of Viking boats: busse, skeide, snekke and orm.

Ben and Jason then visited the school to discuss the design of the boat-themed playground musical instrument. Everyone had a great time thinking about how it should look.

Once Argyll and Bute Council had analysed the plans (in great detail!) and Jason had responded to all their questions, the design was finally approved for construction using traditional boat-building techniques and the Singing Ship or 'Den Syngende Skipet' was born!

Please check here for Jason's blog which demonstrates the process from its inception. The main structure of the ship was created in Galgael's workshop, and  in mid-November, Jason, Ben and Jim came and assembled the boat's frame in the playground. The children created beautiful shields that were fixed to the boat. In March, The Singing Ship got its voice, when Jason and Ben came and added its array of beautiful, hand-crafted instruments - chimes attached to the mast, slap tubes that make a wonderful sound, cajons, and even a drum on the rudder! Thanks so much GalGael - looking forward to lots of open-air music!

'Den Syngende Skipet' was 'launched in true Viking style by Glasgow Vikings, when they visited the school to teach the children about Viking sagas.


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