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Tag Archives Accra

CENSUS

At midnight on Sunday the 3rd of April

1881 the Bar lightship’s

paddle steamer tender, ‘Vigilant’,

is moored at Woodside Stage, Birkenhead.

Of the eight crew three were born in Wales,

two in Liverpool, one in Ireland,

one in Sweden and one on a ‘Yorkshire Farm’.

In immaculate copperplate, the First Mate,

my great grandfather, completes the form.

 

Meanwhile at 52 Harlow Street,

a street that slopes down to Harrington Dock,

where the Elder Dempster line was based

that sailed to Freetown,

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THE COAT HANGER

It is wooden, a gent’s, with ‘Elder Dempster’

machined then varnished into one of

the shoulders. It belonged to the shipping line

which plied between Liverpool and Lagos,

via Freetown and Accra. It was purloined,

accidentally or otherwise,

by my father or mother, possibly

the latter on her last trip home, with me

in her womb, to ensure a safer birth

in temperate climes –  U-Boats permitting.

 

He died of septicaemia three months

after I was born –

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