The Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances

Extract from The Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances

If they had expected to slip quietly to their destination, they were soon confounded.

The sight of the relatively tiny fishing boat picking its way between a mass of commercial shipping, the huge docks with their forests of cranes, was astonishing enough. Every vessel they passed hooted or whistled to honour their passage, and the sensation spread up-river before them. Crewmen, tug-boatmen and dockers waved and called as they went by, while the bemused Newlyn men waved back. As they pushed further into the heart of London, the public were also lining the river hoping for a glimpse of them, cheering when they were spotted.

Following just astern the massed photographers went into action as soon as the Houses of Parliament came into view. The whole crew of PZ 87 were on deck, gazing in wonder at their reception, waving or raising their fists in response. The police launch led the way. An archetypal double-decker bus stood on Westminster Bridge. The hands of Big Ben stood at five past eleven. The little fishing boat steamed on towards its destiny, bearing the hopes of its people, as bold and brave as any vessel that ever sailed the Thames. The cameramen, realising that they were looking at a truly classic photograph, squeezed and squeezed…

One comment

  • Elizabeth Jane May

    It was interesting to read the above about The Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances. It was obviously headline news at the time and particularly of interest to me as Ben Batten was one of the crew. His father was Benjamin Green Batten, my great grandfather. It would be great if I could get copies of any old photos taken at the time. Would appreciate anyone getting in touch by above email if they know of any. Wish I had known about the exhibition in Penzance Library in 2012.

    January 04, 2016

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