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Keith at Tregenna
30th June 2009, 08:31 PM
BARRY DOCK - LOADING COAL

Barry Dock was opened in eighteen eighty nine,
Crucial was the need, at that specific time,
Exporting coal most everywhere, Barry had no peer,
Exceeding even Cardiff, along the coast near here.

From pits within the valleys, the black stuff rumbled down,
By railway through to Cadoxton and on to Barry town,
The owners sent the captains with their empty ships,
To load these bulky cargos, underneath the tips.

The collier pumped out ballast and gangway put ashore,
Then took on her freight, with a dusty crashing roar,
One by one the coal trucks were emptied down the chute,
While hard men trimmed the vessel and cargo holds to suit.

Finished off and loaded, the Mate would note her draught,
The crew turned-to, washing down, hosing fore and aft,
Shifted to a lay-by berth or mooring side by side,
Battened down and ready, to sail the ocean wide.

Agents and the chandlers, seen bustling back and fore,
Across the dock, the boatmen, sculling with an oar,
Tugs hooted out their signals towing craft about,
Most sailing or arriving until the tide ran out.

Time maybe for a pint or two in the old `Chain Locker`,
With a tattooed shipmate, or local friendly docker,
Twice a day locks were manned, around high-water mark,
Pilots sent to waiting ships, ready to embark.

It wasn’t just the coal cargoes that made the place well known,
A fine repair and dry dock was famous on its own,
Grain mills and a cold store stood nearby on the land,
Ammunition loaded, fire brigade on hand.

Vessels moored at anchor, from Breaksea Point to Sully,
Till summoned by the Dock Master always in a hurry,
The Port was home for many ships travelling blue highways,
And the best of Merchant Seamen, in those yesterdays.

Joe Earl

Captain Joe Earl has kindly penned the above poem, “Barry Dock – Loading Coal”. This is welcomed by all at “Tregenna” and we will ensure that the words are received officially by the Town and residents of Barry. If by chance you wish to copy this featured poem, please advise us of your intent: hernamewas.ss@googlemail.com

Presented by The Merchant Navy Association (Wales) Barry Branch and www.ss-tregenna.co.uk and Captain Joe Earl to the Mayor and Town Council, Barry.


BARRY SEAMEN

Many Barry seamen, during world war two,
Lost their lives on colliers but hardly given due,
Mostly served as firemen down the engine room,
Along with hardy stokers and trimmers in the gloom.

In dungarees and singlet they toiled there in the heat,
Well below the waterline to a rolling beat,
They did not have much prospect, working there below,
When a U-boat shot his tin-fish and set the ship aglow.

If perhaps they made it and scrambled up on deck,
Wearing gear I mentioned and sweat rag round the neck,
They faced the cold Atlantic, storms, or raging fires,
Perchance to gain a lifeboat afore the ship expires.

Even then, against the odds, if rescue’s carried out,
Pay was stopped without delay leaving kin with now`t,
They were unsung heroes and defence was mighty thin,
Waiting for a big bang, and plates to crumple in.

Per head of population Barry lost the most,
Of hardy merchant seamen from around our coast,
In Holton Road a monument, stands for all to see,
A tribute to those brave men who sailed to keep us free.

Joe Earl

Captain Joe Earl has kindly penned the above poem, “Barry Seamen”. This is welcomed by all at “Tregenna” and we will ensure that the words are received officially by the Town and residents of Barry. If by chance you wish to copy this featured poem, please advise us of your intent: hernamewas.ss@googlemail.com

Presented by The Merchant Navy Association (Wales) Barry Branch and www.ss-tregenna.co.uk and Captain Joe Earl to the Mayor and Town Council, Barry.

In remebrance of those from Barry, the Vale of Glamotgan and the many that left from the town's dock never to return. LEST WE FORGET.

Louis the Amigo
1st July 2009, 06:37 AM
Hello Keith my butty, Never read these gems before .What can I say Joe Earl has capture the soul of them times a fitting tribute to all the men from Barry and Cadoxton who worked on the colliers' and all the heros' of the British Merchant Navy young and old who gave their lives' and were lost at sea.

Keith at Tregenna
1st July 2009, 09:44 PM
A WELSH SEASIDE TOWN AT WAR

By Alun Robertson

Monday August 3rd, 1914, the last day of peace, was a bank holiday. On that warm sunny day an estimated 50,000 day trippers from Cardiff and the mining towns and villages of the Welsh valleys flocked to Barry Island. To most of these people the thought of war would be pushed to the back of their minds as they picnicked on the grass, strolled along the beach or bathed in the sea. The main attraction that day was a grand brass band competition on Nell's Point (the strip of land wihere the Barry Island Resort now stands). The best bands in Wales performed that day. In the Channel the steamers of the White Funnel Fleet could be seen packed with people bound for a day out at Weston or Ilfracombe, people who normally lived mundane lives were out to enjoy themselves that day. Before the week was out, all this would change. Instead of courting couples and people enjoying the brass bands, Nells point would be inhabited by soldiers manning the six inch guns of the Barry Fort (the fort situated on the tip of Nell's Point controlled a vital area of the Channel).

Read more at:

BarryWW1

http://www.powell76.talktalk.net/Awelshseasidetown.htm

Keith at Tregenna
1st July 2009, 10:14 PM
Churchill said much about the role of the merchant seamen during the war. But, perhaps poet John Maesfield, who was himself a sea cadet said it best in a poem loved by all merchant seamen:

“Unrecognised, you put us in your debt;
Unthanked, you enter, or escape, the grave;
Whether your land remember or forget
You saved the land, or died to try to save.”

Coming home from a war zone: see pages 34-35

Source:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/06/26/veteran-will-never-forget-battle-of-the-atlantic-91466-23983891/