4 June 2017
The Great Strait Raft Run is an annual event that raises funds for local causes. The route along the Menai Strait is approximately 6 km long and starts from Y Felinheli and ends in Menai Bridge, passing under the Britannia Bridge, past Ynys Gored Goch, and under the Menai Suspension Bridge. The raft run started in 1984 but was discontinued later that decade with it being restarted in 2002.
|Date||8 November 2014|
|Location||From Church Island, Menai Bridge||SH 55108 71736; 53.22284°N, 4.17175°W|
Differences in the tides at either end of the channel separating Anglesey from the mainland give rise to strong currents flowing in either direction at different times through the Menai Strait. The stretch between the two bridges (Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge and Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge) – known as the Swellies – is the most hazardous and experiences various whirlpool currents owing to the rocks. Tidal conditions in the strait were, however, favourable for catching fish using traps. These employed weirs that allowed fish to enter at high tide but then left them enclosed at low tide. One such fishery was located on the 100m-long island in the strait close to Britannia Bridge. Ynys Gored Goch (literally, Red Weir Island, but known in English as Whitebait Island) is documented as having been owned by the Diocese of Bangor in the late 16th century, when it was leased to a Thomas Fletcher of Treborth for an annual rent of £3 plus a barrel of fish. There are two buildings on the half-hectare island: the main house together with the now converted smoke house where the fish were cured. During the early 20th century visitors could cross to the island by boat to avail themselves of a ‘whitebait tea’ for a shilling. The church authorities sold the island in 1988 and it has had a number of private owners since then. Mains water and electricity were installed in 1997 and for a while the house was used for holiday accommodation.