© Copyright George Papavgeris, August 2002
refers to the demise of the Colne Shipping Company, UK's biggest remaining trawler fleet based in Lowestoft, itself a major fishing centre for seven centuries; until Wednesday 14th August 2002.
Yesterday morning the noise in the basin was awesome
Netters and trawlers and longliners ready for sail
Now the sun's coming up, and the town is as quiet as a funeral
The Ice House is empty and nobody's manning the scales
Wednesday the fourteenth of August, the year is 2002
And only some tourists around, just admiring the view
Did anyone notice the moment when history came to an end
For a town that was proud now on others will have to depend?
Grandfather remembers the day when he could cross the harbour
Just walking across all the decks of the boats that were there
The quay full of noise and the masts in the basin were bristling
The grounds then were rich, there was plenty of herring to share.
Now, whose fault we can't make a living? Whose fault there is no fish to catch?
Whose fault seven centuries' fishing went out like a match?
The blame's not for us or our fathers, but for bureaucrats so far removed
Whose policies, speeches and promises empty were proved.
You wanted to follow me, son, but you must reconsider
There's little a man can do here now that is any worth
No chance any longer of riding the waves on a beamer
Most likely you will have to leave the town of your birth.
The job centre queue's getting longer, though already it was long enough
For beamers and fishermen now the future looks rough.
Our hopes like their hulls now are rotting and soon forgotten we'll be
As pleasure boats instead of trawlers now darken the quay.
So, what's to become of the large beamers now?
And what will we do if the seas we can't plough?
Shall we live off the pittance the state will allow
Or start selling postcards and Lowestoft Rock
While tourists take over old Hamilton Dock?
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