RALPH the Rover, the medieval pirate who, according to local legend, stole the original bell from the Bell Rock, is so excited about appearing at Arbroath Sea Fest on August 13/14 that he has recently made a few impromptu appearances around the town.
“Ralph The Rover is determined to show the people of Arbroath that there’s another side to his dastardly character,” said Bill Smith of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes, who have arranged for Ralph and his band of swashbuckling pirates to participate in this year’s Sea Fest.
Bill explained that, to ensure Ralph keeps out of trouble - at least until his official appearances during the Sea Fest weekend - Sea Fest’s organisers arranged for him to help local children practice for the annual Sea Fest sandcastle competition.
Bill continued: “Apparently while waiting for vessels to be wrecked on the Bell Rock due to the theft of the warning bell that had been placed there by the Abbot of Aberbrothock, Ralph and his crew would build sandcastles on the beaches in and around Arbroath!”
With several centuries of sandcastle building behind him, Ralph had been keen to show off his expertise. However, when heavy rain put paid to these plans, pirate and children packed away their buckets and spades and retired to the Signal Tower Museum where, sitting by the model of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, Ralph recounted the tale of his worst misdemeanour – the theft of the bell from the Bell Rock.
After the storytelling was over, Ralph revealed that he was delighted to have been invited to appear in Sea Fest. “My crew and I are definitely looking forward to meeting everyone who comes along,” he said. “And we will try not to fall back into our pirating ways!”