Harry Booth was much closer to his Grandfather, Harry Stone, than he was to his own parents. He delighted in the retired Captain Harry Stone’s stories of his sea adventures in the great days of sail and relates them here for us in the same deliberate way that he was told them over ninety years ago ‘So that they lose nothing in the telling, boy’
Harry Stone was born in 1859 at Canewdon on the River Crouch to a barge owning/sailing family, he was at sea with his Father at eleven and at eighteen was Captain in charge of Richard Horlock’s barge Thomas and Caroline. Later he skippered the barges May, Hawthorne, Unity, Garcon, The Ida and finally owning the boomie barge Genesta for his last 25 years at sea. He also had shares in The Hetty and The Harold and prided himself that he ‘never lost a man or put a ship ashore’ in his lifetime as a Skipper. He had many old adage and saying to guide him and to which he adhered. One being ‘Tide and time wait for no man’ so when his crew failed to return on time he set sail from Sandwich to Harwich without them. Whilst a lot of his trade was in Malt out of Mistley and Snape he went wherever he could get a cargo around the coast, be it Scotland or Ireland, from Holland he even brought back bones, china clay from Cornwall, timber from the North to the rapidly expanding towns of Colchester and Southend for the building trade. He took sunken ship wrecked cargo ashore, laid shore ends of telegraph cables at Gravelines and Faro Islands and even delivered unknown cargo that he was not to ask questions about. He was full of old folklore like the importance of the Fair dates in the calendar, the weather and as people did then he lived by the old sayings so ‘don’t spare at the spigot’ ‘keep yer lamps trimmed’ and ‘never let the light go out on yer binnacle’. Harry Stone died in 1938 having been 60 years a working Skipper under sail.
Time: 63 Minutes Produced: January 2009
Product Code: NLDVD58