Creel Making in Boho

Creel Making in Boho

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This film was digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage


Super 8



29min 00sec




British Film Institute, Victor McManus

Rights Holder

Victor McManus

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Travel to Boho and witness the disappearing art of the creel basket-maker.

The creel, known in Irish as cliabh (pronounced cleeve), was at one time an everyday item in Northern Irish homes. It was used for carrying goods such as turf, or seaweed, or loads to and from market. Here, Bernard ‘Brandy’ McManus transforms the willow, strand-by-strand, twist-by-twist into a tough, practical basket. Creel-making was time-consuming work, but satisfying too. Brandy stated that working and shaping the willow helped ease the arthritis in his hands.



The creel in Ireland took many forms, depending on what it carried and where in the country it was made. There were the common, rectangular creels, used as donkey panniers for the carrying of turf. Then there were back creels, which helped people to carry particularly heavy loads. There was even a variant of the back creel, the shoulder creel, which was designed for the transporting of loads across shorter distances and was easily emptied. Today, creel baskets are often used for storing firewood, or even adapted for use as bicycle baskets.


Featuring Bernard 'Brandy' McManus 

Film courtesy of Victor McManus

Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project



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