A Tribute to Patrick Walton
According to legend, mussels have been cultivated in Europe since 1235 when an Irish sailor called Patrick Walton was shipwrecked in the Baie d’Aiguillon along the French Atlantic coast. Whilst trying to catch fish, Walton hung up nets and found mussels attaching themselves to the poles supporting the nets. He then developed this technique and so invented the first method of mussel production, now referred to as the ‘bouchot’. This farming method, where mussel spats (very young mussels) naturally fix onto poles submerged in the sea, has been successfully used in that region if France ever since. The region also celebrates the mussel and has a Moulstock music festival in June each year.
This year we are creating cultural and economic links with the Charente-Maritime region. Representatives from the tourism and aquaculture industries will visit Renvyle and join us for our Mussel Festival. Over the weekend we will be saluting Patrick Walton’s ingenuity with a presentation by Dr Tony Kiely of DIT, unveiling a new sign Boulevard Patrick Walton, lighting of the Moules Eclade and perhaps a glass or two of Chardonnay! Vive la France!