Saturday, 19 November 2016

Doom Bar.

Doom Bar - a very nice bitter with a background in folklore.

On this day, November 19th in 1911, The Doom Bar in Cornwall claimed two ships, the Island Maid and the Angele, for the latter the entire crew was killed except the captain.

The Doom Bar is a notorious sandbar in Cornwall where the River Camel meets the Celtic sea, and it has posed a danger to shipping for centuries being responsible for over 600 beachings and wrecks since records began in the early nineteenth century, large boats trying to enter Padstow were often given assistance, sometimes by air to guide them in safely. The Doom Bar is now regularly dredged to keep access to Padstow clearer, but it is an endless task as the sediments accumulate rapidly.

Folklore tells us that a mermaid created the bar as a dying curse on the harbour after she was shot by a local man. Tristram Bird (who had bought a new gun) went out to find seals to practice his aim on, but when he saw the mermaid sitting on a rock brushing her hair he was entranced, he wanted her to marry him, but when she declined he shot her, realising after the event that she was in fact a mermaid. She sadly died and cursed the place with a 'bar of doom'. A bad storm raged that night, and when morning came, the sandbar was there, 'covered with wrecks of ships and drowned men'.

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