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Salute The Shipbuilders 2015

The Shipyard Men

The shipyard men

in oily coats and jaunty caps

streamed through the gates

and into the pub.

Released from care,

till tomorrow,

all the days and years

of their lives – riveting, welding.

Dirty, dangerous work,

no safety rails

high up on the staging

in biting wind and storm.

The sons of the shipyard,

like their fathers

were artists

in steel.

They built great ships

and never sailed away.

Always stayed in

the shipyard town.

Walk the dock road

at night and listen,

listen, to the echo of

boots on cobbles.

The Launch


Thirty thousand tons of steel.

Welded, hammered, forged

with mens lives

thunders into the sea.


Angled to hit the water and dip,

‘Hold your breath lads!'

She rights, and cuts through

the river like a knife.

Turning on the tide

to face the sea

that will carry her aloft

to foreign lands, adventure

She knows no fear

of storms yet to come.

For the bride of the sea,

the journey has just begun.

Video for The Launch

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