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Captain Kong
4th April 2012, 08:54 PM
I found this poem on the Master Mariners of Canada site.
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London Docks in the Fifties Another poem by James Morrison of Arataki, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand.
Submitted by Captain Brian Johnston. Vancouver Division.
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.West India, Albert, Victoria, Bow to stern in endless line, Dockside cranes, like giant storks
Millwall and Surrey Dock, As far as the eye could see, Jibs dipping, luffing and slewing,
Tilbury and Thames reaches, Such a splendid sight I do recall, Discharging goods from around the world,
Ship movements round the clock. This hive of industry. To keep a nation moving.
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I wonder if the public knew, A ‘Ben’ boat lies at ‘Vickie’ dock, Her sister at West India
What really was in store, Her grey hull, riding high, Out of the hatches soar,
A massive supermarket, Loading general for Bangkok, Malaya rubber, spice and teak,
Being landed at their door. Manila and Shanghai. Raw silk from Singapore.

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Bales of Sydney wool come out, A listing, ‘Geordie’ Chapman tramp, Star boats from the Argentine,
Courtesy of Shaw Savill, Steam winches clatter away, Disgorging slings of beef,
New Zealand frozen lamb as well, Loading scrap iron for Madras, Union Castle’s lavender hulls,
In Port Line they did travel. And ingots for Bombay. With wine from Tenerife.
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Dressed timber from the Baltic, B.I., Brocklebanks, Ellermans, Fyffes, Royal Mail boats from Rio,
Tangerines from Spain, Add to this mad confusion, Houlders from La Plata,
This torrent of world produce, Hundreds of ‘lighters’, empty and full, P.S.N.C. from Cuba,
Fell on the wharves like rain. Scattered in dense profusion. And a tramp from Kalamata.
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In Tilbury Docks the liners wait, Everards at Greenhithe, I had the luck to witness all
Like patient, faithful dogs, Colliers, tugs and tankers, This power display of trade,
Across the berth a Palm boat’s gear, Deep laden iron ore carriers, Even as a first trip deck boy,
Lifts out West African logs. Lie straining at their anchors. The memories do not fade.
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The wharves are now deserted, So, every time you have a shave,
And break bulk days are gone, Look at the razor’s heel,
Containers, speed and profit, It might be stamped ‘Made in Taiwan’,
Have invariably won. But could be ‘Ben Line’ steel.
10

Tony Wilding
4th April 2012, 09:19 PM
well thats really made me sad, knowing its all gone forever, does not seem possible. at that time none of us would ever have believed it possible. seems like only yesterday i packed my bag, got a train to stepney east from southend , then a bus or taxi to the ship, the world was our playground, you could plan to a certain extent where you wanted to go. we were so lucky.:th_thth5952deef:

Keith at Tregenna
4th April 2012, 09:26 PM
Quote Kinsale Mayor, Tomas O Brien : "Many a young Kinsale man left to go to Barry, which to them was the gateway to the world. For some it was the first time they had left their native town, and their families survived on the money they sent home. "Some settled in Barry and have families there today. Many others died in the wars while serving in both the Royal and Merchant Navies." This is Barry. Thursday 1 September 2005

Although attributed to Barry, could see many Mayors saying similar of many towns and places.

"LEST WE FORGET"

K.

happy daze john in oz
5th April 2012, 06:16 AM
well thats really made me sad, knowing its all gone forever, does not seem possible. at that time none of us would ever have believed it possible. seems like only yesterday i packed my bag, got a train to stepney east from southend , then a bus or taxi to the ship, the world was our playground, you could plan to a certain extent where you wanted to go. we were so lucky.:th_thth5952deef:

In my opinion for what it is worth, those days from the early 50's to early 70's were maybe the best years the world has ever seen. Certinly for us who sailed it was a golden era, the likes of which the world will never see again.

Captain Kong
5th April 2012, 07:23 AM
We are the last of the Seafarers John, the world will not see our likes again.
Cheers
Brian