Turriff world record holders Antarctic project gets a local boost
Get the Grampian Group sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
As work continues long term on plans to sail scale recreations of the Erebus and Terror around Antarctica, brothers Ollie and Harry Ferguson have received a major boost for the project.
As dad Mac explained: "We have been lucky enough to be offered the most amazing wood to use for the Erebus Project.
"This beautiful block of elm is almost 200 years old and will become our reimagined boats Erebus and Terror.
"It is hard to find elm these days.
"Loved by traditional boat builders, it is a rare and sought-after resource.
"By the end of the 1970s in the UK, over 90 per cent had been lost to Dutch Elm Disease.
"This stunning two tonne elm block comes from a tree that grew on the banks of the river Deveron at Muiresk a few miles from our home.
"It was kindly donated to the adventure by Peter Kenyon of Muiresk and a careful count of her rings shows her to be at least 192 years old."
To put this age in context for the prohect he continued: "As the Ross expedition left Chatham, Kent for her adventure around Antarctica in 1839, this young tree was no more than ten years old, the same age Harry is now.
"Just like the lower hull of Erebus and Terror, our boats will be built using this wood.
"Elm is a highly durable when permanently wet and when great strength is required such as boat keels.
"The specialist milling required to cut our elm took us three hours and was undertaken by local expert Dave Piercy of Elmhardwoods.co.uk.
"The boys were delighted to get involved and help find the best of the block to use for our two ships.
"With our solid hulls built from the heart wood of this 192-year-old elm, we hope to avoid being crushed in the pack ice and survive this Antarctic expedition once again."
In order to fund the project, the boys have set up a unique funding idea in which supporters will be taken on as virtual crew for the two ships involved.
With the duration of the voyage expected to be around two years, the tracking devices that are needed have to be both robust and long lived which has added to the costs involved.