A Thousand Miles Apart                                   Nigel Hallworth 2009

 

Chorus : (and after  every three verses except the last )

A thousand miles apart – Cornwall and Orkney

A thousand miles apart – Longhope and Penlee

Launch again boys, Put to sea again boys

To the sea,

That’s where I must go

Go where the wind blows           

Pray for me

That I come home safely to thee.

 

Susan and Sadie and Girl Sybil

Daisy and Doona, Louise and Hazel

Plucked from the seas men who thought they would die

By the crews of the boats of the RNLI

 

Ben Barves and Gava and Silver Dolphin,

Anthony Stevenson, Emu and Trim

Plucked from the seas men who thought they would die

By the crews of the boats of the RNLI

 

Ivan Ferrer, Valle de Butron,

Golden Corn, Slipalong and Lead On

Plucked from the seas men who thought they would die

By the crews of the boats of the RNLI

 

Conqueror trawler of one thousand tons

Two days after Christmas aground she has run

Plucked from the seas men who thought they would die

By the crews of the boats of the RNLI

 

Trawler Strathcoe, aground in the geo

Nine in a  motor boat – Apollo

Plucked from the seas men who thought they would die

By the crews of the boats of the RNLI

 

Yet one more shout in the dead of the night

Trawler Ross Puma aground off Hoy

The storm was too fierce for the breeches buoy

Yet were 15 men saved from their hopeless plight

 

Eight men of Longhope and eight of Penlee

Gave men back their lives that were claimed by the sea

Daniel Kirkpatrick, son of Orkney

Trevelyan  Richards, of Penlee

 

Coda .. to the tune of the first 2 lines of the chorus

 

T. G. B,

Solomon Browne

Ship’s in peril again boys

Irene and Union Star ……

Music

There have been many songs and poems about the loss of the Penlee lifeboat, but I wanted to write about the achievements of those eight men - they did not die in vain.

Then, when it was planned in 2009 for the Perraners community singing group and the Stamp and Go Shanty Singers from Perranporth to travel to Orkney (as quests of the Stromabank Pub Choir of Hoy ) I discovered that the same story had unfolded a few years before in the islands when the Longhope lifeboat was also lost with all hands.

Daniel Kirkpatrick of Orkney was a famous and successful lifeboat coxwain, as was Trevelyan Richards of Mousehole.

So the idea came, to write a song with the names of many of the boats and ships saved and assisted by both men and their crews over the years.

As a small boat sailor myself I know what it's like to be frightened at sea.

The dramatic and famous recue of the crew of the trawler Strathcoe, for which Daniel Kirkpatrick was rewarded with a silver medal from the RNLI contrasts with the simple record entry relating to the Solomon Browne's assistance to; " nine in motor boat Apollo ".

The occupants of both vessels probably thought they were going to die... but they didn't.

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