Barry Merchant Seamen

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A poem gift to Barry

The Paddle Steamer Barry was built for the Barry Railway Company's fleet and sailed on May 24, 1907, before leaving the Clyde to begin her pleasure steamer career from Barry and the Bristol Channel.


1907 – The PADDLE STEAMER 'BARRY' – 2007

Cheers to the pleasure steamer – popular and fast,
With a jaunty rake of funnel and bunting from the mast,
Paddles swooshing easily foaming as they churn,
Leaving wake – ruler straight, trailing there astern.

Her glossy shining paintwork of red and pearly white,
Flying proud the ensign on halyard whipping tight,
The cheering of the passengers leaning on the rail,
And jingle of the telegraph when about to sail.

The fascinating engines steaming hell for leather,
Captain's orders from the bridge open to the weather,
Called upon in wartime years for such sterling work,
Plus helping out the Navy and Army at Dunkirk.

One such vessel of renown was the P.S. Barry,
Famous in the Great War for troops she had to carry,
Outstanding in Gallipoli and last from Suvla Bay,
Serving at Salonika toiled in danger's way.

She was built upon the Clyde one hundred years ago,
Excursion fit for passengers on deck and down below,
Registered in Barry – in her early years,
Calling in the Channel ports mooring at the piers.

Ilfracombe or Weston, down to old Minehead,
Burnham and the Mumbles – then home in time for bed,
She gave so many people, hours of bracing pleasure,
Merrymaking families enjoying days to treasure.

Later on in 'twenty-six she worked our southern climes,
Sailing out of Brighton and Hastings many times,
Then sweeping mines in 'forty-one on a fatal run,
She perished in the North Sea, sunk there by the Hun.

It's right recalling history of South Wales long ago,
Of local crew and seamen sailing to and fro,
For they worked the paddle steamers giving them their power,
In our favorite waters – from Bristol to the Gower.

J.S.Earl. Bristol M.N.A. 

This poem was commissioned for Her name was TREGENNA website, and reproduced here with permission, to help make it known.

"Joe was born in Sheffield in 1941. He left home at the age of 14 to attend the training ship 'Indefatigable' in Anglesey. After almost two years there, he went to sea as Deck Boy in the Merchant Navy. He later obtained his Master's certificate and commanded ten ships during his career including five years as Captain of the Bristol Steam Navigation's 'MV Apollo'. Captain Earl has penned the above as a tribute to the PS Barry, Captains and Crews for the Town / townspeople of her name."


P S Barry with wartime colour and equipment

More detailed information about the PS Barry / PS Waverley / HMS Snaefell is available in a pdf document from Her name was TREGENNA's Other Ships page. Also on that site are more poems, including others by Joe Earl.