Doc Martin star Martin Clunes watched Piel Island crown new king and queen


Despite heavy rain and heavy clouds, 150 people attended a gala day on Piel Island, in the Walney Channel, in July 1998.

They included those who took the ferry and nearly 70 people who walked a mile and a half through the sand at low tide, led by local naturalist and tour guide John Murphy.

The gala day was for the benefit of St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston.

Twenty boaters, who were regular visitors to the island’s pub, the Ship Inn, sailed from Blackpool to join in the festivities, which included a raffle and a sponsored car ride through the sand by teams from the Walney Central Rugby Club and of the Queen’s pub in Windermere.

The Queen’s won the three-mile race in 22.59 seconds and Walney finished in 26 minutes.

The event was hosted by Karen Scarr, wife of the traditional King of Piel Island, Roddy Scarr, who was the vessel’s licensee.

In 2008, Steve Chattaway’s place in history was secured when he was crowned King of Piel.

In centuries-old tradition, the new owner of the Ship Inn was drenched in beer as he sat in Piel’s old chair.

More than 2,500 people attended the ceremony, including former owners and Martin Clunes, the start of the hit TV series. Men behave badly.

Mr. Clunes was on the small island filming a new ITV series, Brittany Islands.

A jubilant Mr. Chattaway said: “It has been an emotional day. I have almost refueled.”

The castle was adorned with banners and surrounded by a flotilla of ships from the British coasts and the Isle of Man.

Many of those present were dressed as knights, vikings and pirates.

Mr Clunes, who was given the task of carrying the bucket of beer slops, said: “The crowning was brilliant. It was quite moving.”

Mr Chattaway paid tribute to his wife Sheila, who organized the event and would run the pub with him.

The coronation raised £ 480 for local charities.


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