Bernard Thomas began fishing with his father at age four, and later learned to build his own fishing vessels by hand — in his case a small craft of ancient design made of split willow and animal skins (later calico). He even crossed the English Channel in one. “‘In my younger days I used to fly fish with the coracle and take my girlfriend with me. They’re very obedient in a coracle,’ he joked. Mr Thomas, who lives alone in a cottage by the river, says coracles are very safe crafts to use ‘providing you were taught properly and have a foot in each corner.'” Gilbert John writes for the BBC News.