Tag Archives: History

A ballad of the transports

An angry ballad from the era of the transports – when criminals were sent by ship to Australia to provide free labour rather than imprisoning them at home. It was a particularly hard punishment, for not only was the work damned hard, but it often meant the individual would never see their families, partners and friends again. But I suppose it made money for someone…

The singer and musician here is Geoffrey Lakeman, friend of our golden-voiced chum Jim Causley.

If you’d like to know more about the transports, the Wikipedia has a good page here. It includes this rather fine contemporary of engraving of 1792 showing women mourning the loss of their husbands through being shipped to Australia as a punishment.


A film history of Thames Estuary gravel carriers Prior’s

This is a¬†beautifully made film history of Prior’s – their small gravel-carrying ships are a familiar sight for anyone sailing the north side of the Thames Estuary.

My thanks to Paul Mullings for the link.

Here’s a photo of one of Prior’s vessels that I took earlier this year.


Caller Herrin’, the classic late 1940s herring fisheries documentary

My thanks to Chris Brady for letting me know about this tremendous late 1940s herring fisheries documentary made by the government’s Central Office of Information available on YouTube. Don’t let that Orwellian-sounding organisation title put you off though – there’s some great footage here.