The Wreck of the SS London

Simon Wills has written to say that he has just published a book about the SS London disaster of January 1866, a very famous disaster of its time. It’s one that is sometimes said to have added to the pressure to make sbhips safer, and which led to the introduction of the Plimsoll Line. Here’s a … Continue reading “The Wreck of the SS London”

The Shoals of Herring makes an unexpected comeback

Maverick Hollywood film producers the Coen brothers latest movie has apparently revived awareness and even interest in Ewan MacColl’s song The Shoals of Herring, which he based on a series of interviews with the East Coast fisherman Sam Larner – himself a tremendous singer of old fashioned songs. The song was originally written for Singing … Continue reading “The Shoals of Herring makes an unexpected comeback”

The loss of the Steamship London, 1866

This is a recording of my singing of the ballad The Steamship London, which I learned from a recording of Sam Larner made in the late 1950s. The British steamship SS London sank in the Bay of Biscay in January 1866 on a passage from Gravesend in England to Australia. It’s said that she was … Continue reading “The loss of the Steamship London, 1866”