Penlee 25 years
They are doing a thing this week on the SEA - BBC1 Last night they showed the penlee lifeboat incident.
Was excellent viewing, a great credit to the men, & RNLI found this poem written at the time in memorandum of the crew and boat.
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Teatime in Cornwall on a Saturday night,
Just six days to Christmas, the storm at its height
A maroon was sent up that brought men at the run,
But this was Penlee, and the year eighty-one.
Cox Richards saw the fearful might of the sea
And breathed a soft prayer that the boat would slip free
He’ll not get her launched, the experienced ones knew,
But William calmly selected his crew.
He turned back Neil Brockman though eager and brave,
And slipped the ‘Browne’ towards the wild tempest wave.
“Just one from each house” His cry lost on the storm,
But out of such wisdom legends are born
James Madron, Nigel Brockman, say their names with pride,
With Barry Torrie and Gary Wallis; but why had they died?
For a Lloyds Open Charter and a deadly delay,
While a tugboat stood handy – but would owners pay?
Kevin Smith was on leave but he didn’t wait,
With Charles Greenhough and John Blewett went to their fate.
To man the swift lifeboat and take on the storm
For saving men’s lives is why they were born.
And what a staggering total of lives they had won
Solomon Brown’s tally had reached ninety-one!
She crashed through the gale for the three-hundreth time
To raise her saved number to around ninety-nine.
They succeeded at first past their own wildest dreams
To pluck frightened victims from the coaster’s deck beams
One, two, three four were hauled safely aboard
While a Culdrose Sea King could do naught but record
The fantastic bravery of the Solomon’s crew
Returning time after time – what more could they do?
In sixty-foot seas that were December cold
That fearless young crew that would never grow old
But the heroic rescue was doomed from the start
When the furious storm played her own heartless part
Reclaiming those lives so desperately won
From Mousehole and Penlee, in the year eighty-one
Brian O’Dowda January 1982
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!