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Fenland Poetry and Verse - and More



Turf and harvested crops were often transported to places like Ely and Cambridge, usually in a 'gang' of three lighters. These were poled, or hauled by a 'haling' donkey or, when there was space and a breeze, towed by the lead boat using a sail.

Coming Home

by Neil Ford

We've been out on the water with a full load to carry,
The breeze is a good n for sure.
The sedge we unloaded on the wharf in the City
Will be used in the ovens, making bread and much more

We've had a brisk wind, on a lovely bright day
Old Reuben stands down in the hold
Up ahead is the ferry outside the Lord Nelson,
Well stop for a beer to warm up from the cold

Sedge makes us good money, there's always demand
It's a horrible crop to manhandle
It cuts like a saw if you're not well wrapped up
The buyers are happy, It's good they don't wrangle

Refreshed in the ale house were now heading home
Into Reach Lode we steer
Upfront is the Cock Up where we turn down for Wicken
Old Reuben plods homewards, he knows it's quite near

The lads in the crew are a good hearted bunch
Happy to be nearly home
They'll be up and ready right early tomorrow
Another days work but never a moan



Neil Ford
Ely, Cambridgeshire
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