The member of a west north Cumbrian rowing club has opened up on how a group effort to build a boat to take part in an annual rowing event has brought members of the community together.

A group of people from Bowness-on-Solway got together over two years ago to help build the skiff - a type of rowing boat - which has been named the Bowness Belle.

Members of the group, who originally intended the skiff to be used in the Annan to Bowness-on-Solway Bell Raid event have stuck together and regularly go rowing together when possible.

One of the members of the newly formed Bowness-on-Solway Community Rowing Club, Mike Pennington, said:"It's brought quite a lot of people together who didn't know each other beforehand.

"It has created a lot of camaraderie.

"It was a community build.

"I moved here in December 2017 and in August 2017 the bell raid had happened.

"There were a couple of people talking to a guy from Annan in the pub.

"It went from a pub conversation to a request from the parish council to buy the kit to build the skiff. We got the kit in the December and then built it over two years.

"Five or six of us would turn up on a Monday night at a barn in Annan and work for a couple of hours on building this skiff

"I don't think anyone really thought about what we were going to do with it afterwards."

The origins of the Annan to Bowness-on-Solway Bell Raid dates back to 1626, when a group of rowers from Annan decided to cross the Solway to plunder the Bowness-on-Solway church bell.

Today the event is a historical re-enactment of the event that took place just under 400 years ago. This year the event was a race that involved two skiffs from Annan, one from Stranraer and another - the Bowness Belle - from Bowness-on-Solway.

This years event took place on August 22 and began at Annan Harbour at 11.30am.

Silloth RNLI were also in attendance having been invited to accompany four skiffs across the Solway.

The Silloth RNLI Lifeboat saw the skiffs safely across the water before everyone was treated to a "pleasant and welcome lunch" by the organisers.

The Stranraer skiff won the race in 17 minutes and the Bowness skiff came second in 17 minutes and two seconds.

Mike added that the team's spirits were still high despite having been pipped to the post by a matter of seconds.

The rowing club that was born from the race has been an additional bonus for the group.

Mike added: "[The skiff] is lovely to row and we're out every weekend in it now when the time and tide permit.

"The tide can be quite dangerous. We tend to row around Port Carlisle where it's quite sheltered and we take sensible precautions.

"We had to do something with [the skiff] and that's where the club came in.

"Anyone who wants to have a row can come down. We have got life jackets and we're insured.

"We've had people coming down for a row. They don't always come back, but at least they have given it a go.

"It was a parish project and a lot of people have been involved with it, not only from Bowness, but from Carlisle as well.

"We are now looking at going beyond the bell raid and being part of more races.

"As a club with a skiff, we are starting to get invited to events that we never even thought about before.

Among some of the upcoming events that are in the groups sights is the Skiffie World Championships in the Netherlands.

The group continues to meet up at varying times on Saturdays and Sundays depending on the tide and weather.