Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Dirty British Coaster - A bit more poetry by John Masefield

 The ships out at sea heading into The Port of Felixstowe are no longer Dirty British Coasters but ships like Majestic Mearsk a huge container vessel approximately 399 metres long, 44 metres wide, carrying 194,000 tonnes of c**p from Asia that will be on the shelves of a shop near you in a week or two.

That very small boat behind the monster is the Pilot boat which comes out from the port with the Pilot to guide the container ship safely into dock.

I suppose in fairness it may contain a few useful things - clothes perhaps? but I bet a lot is stuff people buy and then throw out a year or two later!

Some of these containers will go by train but most will be on the backs of lorries heading through Suffolk and all round the country.

I remember this poem from primary school.


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays

I shall be back with a diary post at the end of the week


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