By Joanne Rodgers,
Bruce Peninsula Press
Interested in seeing what Wingfield Basin at Cabot Head looked like when it was a bustling fishery? Well add it to your bucket list and make your way down to the Lion’s Head Marina Office when it reopens in Spring 2022.
The “Diorama Group of Seven” comprising Stan McClellan, Wayne Beutel, Mike Marshall, Clive Morgan, Brian Swanton, Jim White and Doug Ludwig built a model of the Meneray Fishery and the mouth of Wingfield Basin as it looked circa 1950.
Drawing their inspiration from photographs and the memories of the Meneray family, the modellers created an intricate model of the area, bringing the history and flavour of the fishing settlement alive. With great attention to detail showcasing the vibrant fishing settlement, it includes an elaborate larger representational model of the ice house in winter. There is a model of 8-year old Maurice Meneray in his rowboat piled with 52 crates and of the 2 pigs brought over to help keep down the snake population – all lovingly crafted and displayed in the diorama. Ships and boats are displayed as a snapshot in time, including that of the steamer Gargantua, which was towed to Wingfield Basin after she sprang a leak and subsequently sank in the Basin.
Built over a couple of years, the diorama was completed in 2011 and displayed at Cabot Head Lightstation Museum until the Museum was closed. The Diorama then moved to the Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum. The Diorama returned to Northern Bruce on 21 October 2021 and will be displayed at the Lion’s Head Marina Office. Stan McClellan and Brian Swanton transported the diorama from Owen Sound and re-installed the display at the Marina’s office.
With its accompanying interpretive plaques, photographs and historical artifacts, the diorama will be available for public viewing next spring.