Ode To A Scouse.

ian keyl
22nd March 2010, 18:33
This is a very old tale transcribed from the original document as typed by the late capt J.C.Harvey commodore of the Ben Line fleet.
It was written just after christmas on board the Bendoran in Singapore December 1958.

JC has witnessed a AB regain the upper hand and pride for Ben Line at the old Keppel Docks .We cannot remember the AB's name but went on to become a bosun with Ben LIne (not as a reward for his deeds we believe).

"Twas a balmy tropic night at the end of Christmas Day
When honest Scot took well-earned rest in his own quiet way
The pease of the night was shattered by a strange untutored babble
A sextet of scosed Scouse vandals an unholy drunken rabble
Inflamed with bottled courage intent on venting spleen
Sullied the side of a noble ship with words best left unseen
Withpaint as black as thier motives and kindergarten spelling
Scrawled rude thoughts on pearly grey cursing the while and yelling

"You pinched our 'ouse flag you lousy Jocks see wot we done to you"
The scots amazed and horrified could not believe it true.
Aquistion of flags is a Half-deck prank the which one must deplore
Yet boys will be boys and the spirit of youth bubbles ther world o'er
But this was a trick of a different sort abhorrent to all good men
Who respect a clean and tidy ship be it Foreign or Bluey or Ben
And a decent respectable sailor man whiles loose in conversation
Will never write or paint a word that is used in execration.
The Dock was quiet at Midnight hour for Christmas Day was spent
First painting out the hideous words which sullied thier fair ship
Then on towards the vandal's craft with finger upon lip.
The Scousers conscience striken now and no doubt almost sober
Were waiting to repel attack and drive off the invader ,
But they did not note a handsome lad enamoured of the sun
In Sarong with a carrier-bag who slipped aboard unseen
Across the deck and o'er the side down to a lighter he went
And from his carrier-bag produced abrush and a pot of paint .
His duty done he then returned unnoticed to the shore
While Scouse and Scot exchanged abuse as ever done before .
The morning bright brought things to light and woe unto the Scousers They'd driven off invading Scots,or so they thought ,in trousers
But Kilt and Sarong are similar garb tho' worn in different fashion
And the Scot to watch is the silent one who ne'er displays his passion
The silent one was handsome lad who had watched the vandals and then
Made honour right in dead of night and painted on SHIP BY BEN.

I thank Archie Watters for giving permission for this to be circulated on the net and also the late Capt J.C.Harvey for his delicate touch with words.

Capt Harvey was a very proud Scot and deeply passionate about his native Edinburgh ,he came from Leith and when master only had the Edinburgh brand of cigerettes available from the canteen.( that was no doubt when "His Masters Voice Ruled )

He was also a Master of Trinity House ,he was always up for a laugh and full of spirit.
Capt Harvey's last command was on the Benarmin when he retired and he went on to the fair age of 80 when passed over the bar.

Rgds Ian.

john fraser
24th March 2010, 17:44
The story I got was that the Bluey sailed into Hong Kong with the words still painted on her hull ,but who was the person who painted them

24th March 2010, 21:12
The story I got was that the Bluey sailed into Hong Kong with the words still painted on her hull ,but who was the person who painted them

Was it Charlie Sedgewick and Jimmy Torrie ???(A)(A)(A)

john fraser
25th March 2010, 20:50
Something tells me that the name Jackie Callendar the Bosun was involved,as he was an old hand at tricks

ian keyl
26th March 2010, 14:03
Hi John,
When I was talking to archie last week in edinburgh i came up with Charlie sedgewick straight away but he said not and mentioned another surname i did not recall as it was not a regular and sounded french, now that sounds dutch for ben line!!!!.
We will have to keep trying, I have admin if they will post this on all far east companies so they can enjoy or poke holes at it .

One of the ladies from the Old ben office was saying that Kenny Campbell ex Benstac and crew dept is not well . I have not seen Kenny for a long time last time he was working for Tax office or Tennants not sure which both favourites of ben line sea staff.
Rgds Ian.

john fraser
28th March 2010, 18:56
Hi Ian.
If Archie cameup with a bottle of Malt as the prize for guessing the name,there would be plenty replies.There will be very few left from that era.The name sounds French.Dutch to Ben Line,the only Dutch was Willie.the Chief Steward.cant picture him with paintbrush in mouth,climbing over the rail on to a lighter.
Sorry to hear about Kenny Campbell,I thought it was illness was the reason he was in the office.I got my next company after Ben Line because the Personnel was friendly with Kenny,seems she knew all about me