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To Skipper Pete

Today I walked the Humber Bank
Across the old locks
On in the grey drizzle
Through the old town docks;
Normally a solitary walk but
Today I happened to meet
An ex trawler skipper from
Our old deep sea fishing fleet.

He told me the fleet still existed
If it could still be called as such
For its remnants and quota were
Mostly owned by Iceland and the Dutch.
He talked of the Cod War sell out
That meant the industry couldn't last
So the Hull fishing fleet became
A redundant thing of the past.

And of the treatment of workers,
Used as labour that came cheap
Then with little compensation
Just dumped on the scrap heap.
He said it had been years
Since he'd been down this way
But had been up town and by impulse
Had walked through here today

He was struck by the desolation
Of this area he'd known as a lad
I don't think he'd realised that
The dereliction was quite so bad.
Standing atop the fish house roofs
I listened to avidly to his talk,
Then with so much food for thought
I continued on to finish my walk,

Past the derelict landing piers
Just off the bank,
Timbers breaking the water
In parallel ranks,
Like combat veterans on
A Remembrance Day parade
Or just another reminder of
Maritime lost jobs and trade.

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