Category Archives: Sailing ships

Paintings and drawings from British Sea-Fishermen by Peter F Anson

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Fishing boats from Anson

Fishing boats from Anson Fishing boats from Anson Fishing boats from Anson

Fishing boats from Anson Fishing boats from Anson Fishing boats from Anson

A small selection of images from the book British Sea-Fishermen. I’d
like in particular to draw attention to the first image below the main picture,
as it shows the interior of an admirable boat shed!

I’ve just been reading Peter F Anson’s charming and informative book British Sea-Fishermen, written for the Britain in Pictures series, and published in 1945. The paintings and drawings above are a small selection I’ve chosen from the book, and I trust you like them as much as I did!

A little later, I’ll put up some of the pages, and the colour illustrations.

Book a room in South-East England


‘O hear us when we cry to thee, For those in peril on the sea’

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The Storm by William Miller

The Storm engraving by William Miller after Van de Velde, published in 1858.
From the Wikimedia

We’re in the midst of yet another storm here in the UK. I might have enjoyed them as a child, but now they set my mind racing, first to worrying about safety on the roads and to property such as houses and boats, and then I start thinking of those at sea, and finally the lifeboat crews who have to go to sea in a storm that’s already raging when they leave the land. It’s enough to stop me sleeping, but in the scheme of things that’s a minor irritation.

Last night I found myself thinking about grandeur and truth of the hymn For Those in Peril on the Sea.

Here are the lyrics complete with written-out music.

Here they are again with a playable midi sample.

Here The Daily Telegraph newspaper tells the hymn’s story.

For a little history, read a historical discussion of how Scottish fishermen coped with storms before the days of weather forecasts and also about how storms affected the fishing community at Polperro, Cornwall.

Again, here’s a 19th century story of heroism in the North-East of England.

I’ve also been thinking about the terror of going out onto a big sea in a small open without the benefit of a weather forecast. No doubt that spawned a host of superstitions and the slightly neurotic activity described in the song The Candlelight Fisherman. There’s a joke that some allegedly lazy fishermen wouldn’t go if the flame didn’t blow out, on the grounds that there would be no wind to carry them home, and like most jokes I’m sure it had some grain of truth.

Also, see Out on a Shout, the RNLI’s rescue activities as they happen. In case you’re wondering, there have been a lot of launches in the bad weather of this winter.

I started off by saying that we’re thinking about storms here in the UK, but I’d argue the weather is making many of us think of more than just the weather. Stay safe and stay alive, everyone.

PS – If you get a moment, print out the Miller engravings – on some nice paper, they could be just what you need to hang on your wall!

The Shipwreck, engraving by William Miller after J M W Turner

The Shipwreck engraving by William Miller after JMW Turner, published
as part of a series of 120engravings from Turner’s paintings.
From the Wikimedia

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An opportunity to support a local hospice

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Decorative Wedgwood Cutty Sark plate

Wedgwood Cutty Sark plate. As usual, click on the image for a larger view

Are you near Tonbridge, and fancy hanging a nice plate bearing the image of a clipper ship on your study wall? I found this one at the Hospice Charity Shop in Tonbridge’s High Street. I thought it was a very decent buy for £8, and I’m very happy to support a hospice when I can. I’ll never forget how the people at the Taunton one treated my mum in her last days.

When I was at the shop, I noticed they’ve got a pile of similar plates depicting a variety of clippers in different situations. So if you’re local, get down there!

All this talk of clippers reminded me to take a look at the Cutty Sark website. How about this for an example of extreme restoration?