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Little Gwennie 50-year-old clinker plywood dinghy

Here’s a photodiary of project undertaken at our friend boatbuilder Alan Thorne’s workshop in the Faversham Creek Trust’s Purifier Building.

Little Gwennie is a little plywood clinker tender built 50 years ago, and the work has been done my Alan’s son Mark. I’d say he had some of his father’s perfectionist tendencies.

Contact Alan at kentmarineservices@gmail.com

 

Sea shanty: Haul On The Bowline

This is a recording of proper old time shanty singer Stan Hugill – who was also a scholar on the subject (and many others) and author of classic works on the subject of sea songs.

You’ll notice there was something pretty wild about Hugill’s singing that we don’t hear so much today (I’m not sure I could do it!), and also that he sang more slowly than shanty performers of modern times.

Recordings of old shanty singers made by American folklorist Alan Lomax make another point about shanty singing – in general shanties were sung much slower (to match the jobs they were designed to assist) than we tend to sing them today. Hear them here.

Bert Lloyd wrote that this particular shanty may be particularly old, because the bowline – a sail control line on a ship rather than the well known knot – had been long out of use even in the time when shanties were collected.

Haul on the Bowline

1. Haul on the bowlin’, the bully ship’s a-rolling,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

2. Haul on the bowlin’, Kitty is me darlin’,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

3. Haul on the bowlin’, Kitty comes from Liverpool,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

4. Haul on the bowlin’, it’s a far cry to payday,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

5. Haul on the bowlin’, Kitty is me darlin’,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

6. Haul on the bowlin’, Kitty comes from Liverpool,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

7. Haul on the bowlin’ so early in the mornin’,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

8. Haul on the bowlin’ and the old man he’s a-growlin’,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

9. Haul on the bowlin’ we don’t know where we’re going,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

10. Haul on the bowlin’ and the sooner we’re get going,
Haul on the bowlin’, the bowlin’ haul!

Shanty verse lyrics are mostly ‘floaters’ – they’re shared with other shanties to different tunes, and can be sung in just about any order, and in real life were often just made up on the spot about people known to the crew. This is a collection made up from bits and pieces I found in the space of a few minutes around the WWW…

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog