THE PRINCESS ROYAL. The Mail packet Princess Royal sailed in 1798 to Newfoundland and was
attacked by the French privateer Aventure (flying a British flag) which was much larger with more
guns. The passengers on the Princess Royal took up small arms and killed 2 or the pirate’s crew and
wounded 4 more. The French ship was so shot up that it had to return to Bordeaux for repairs. The
song was written in celebration when the mail ship returned to England. Any victory over the French
whether at sea or at Twickenham is always a cause for celebration!
THE VISITOR. OThis is the commemorative plaque at Robin Hoods Bay - it tells it's own story:-
Another person is mentioned in the song - John Skelton, who waded out to the lifeboat and guided
the boat through the surf. A fantastic story of perseverance, courage and teamwork. The song was
written by Ben Savage and the Willows on the occasion that their car broke down in Robin Hoods ay
and they had to spend the whole day in the pub.
MORECOMBE BAY On 5th February 2004, 23 Chines workers smuggled into Liverpool in shipping
containers were drowned on the sands of Morecombe bay whilst gathering cockles. Unfamiliar with
local geography, they were cut off by the incoming tide in the bay at around 9:30 pm. The Chinese
gangmaster was convicted and served a 6 year sentence; the English Cockle merchant (who bought
the cockles knowing that the workers were illegals and were paid far below the local rate) was
GRESFORD DISASTER Another testament to corporate greed and flagrant disregard for safety. The
mine was known to suffer badly from gas - firedamp - yet the ventilation maintenance and safety was
neglected and the owners put great pressure on the mine manager to increase production by
blasting too much and too often. The result was a huge explosion more than a mile into the mine.
Unbelievably, the mineowners stopped the wages of the men killed and the 1000 men who escaped
the explosion because they hadn’t completed their shift! The inquest criticised the lack of
precautions taken at the mine, yet no-one was every called to account. The mine was sealed, which
prevented any further investigation and the foreman’s records mysteriously had disappeared. The
song is believed to have been written by the leader of one of the rescue teams that lost 3 men in a
MacPHERSONS LAMENT - a shocking miscarriage of justice. Our hero was the illegitimate son of
a Scottish Laird and beautiful gypsy girl back in 1675. The Laird acknowleged the boy and bought
him up in he own home, but when the laird died the boy was reclaimed by the gypsies. He became
an expert swordsman and a renowned fiddler and eventually leader of the gypsy band. The Gypsies
lived by dealing in horses & odd bit of cattle rustling but were generally popular with the local folk.
However, Jamie made some enemies and especially the Duke of Braco who wanted him dead.
However, no-one would stand against him so they lured him into Banff and as he walked down the
street a woman threw a blanket over him from an upstairs window and they captured him.
There was a summary trial - just being a gypsy was a hanging offence! Below the Gallows he took
his fiddle, played a tune and challenged anyone to play it at his wake. When no-one came forward
he broke the fiddle and the remains can be seen in the clan museum in Newtonmore. The
McPherson family heard of his sentence and sent a horseman to Banff with a reprieve but when the
Duke of Braco saw the horseman coming over bridge he ordered the town clock to be set forward &
hanged him before the pardon arrived. Scottish Justice!
THE CONCRETE MIXER. No explanation necessary - it is claimed to have happened in Denver,
Colorado in 1960....... I just so want it to be true! ( Written by Bernard Wrigley