Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club held a topping out ceremony for its new home on Sunday, December 8.

Tim Sloper holding up the 'gig boat' weather vane prior to installation. Picture: David DixonTim Sloper holding up the 'gig boat' weather vane prior to installation. Picture: David Dixon

The celebration attended by mayor of Barnstaple Alan Rennles, councillors, gig rowers, benefactors and club members marked the completion of the new roof on their future premises in Rolle Quay, which will serve as a water sports centre for Barnstaple.

Club chairman Kevin Ward welcomed those present and gave thanks to those who have worked on the project before Cllr Rennles said how impressed he was with the initative shown in bringing a neglected building back to life.

The ceremony saw founding member Tim Sloper place a weather vane in the shape of a pilot gig boat and crew on the building. It was commissioned and donated by Mr Sloper in memory of his late wife Chrissie.

The club purchased the 19th century warehouse in July after a two-year fundraising effort.

Next for the club is the fitting of new windows and doors, set to be installed in the new year.

A much bigger task will be the renewal of flooring and under-floor heating, which the club will be raising funds for.