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Seafaring Limerick Competition 2014

Sponsored by The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations

The National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations





With seafarers well known for their tall tales, one of the UK’s oldest seafaring charities launched a national limerick competition designed to celebrate life at sea and to mark the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s 175th anniversary.

The Charity’s third annual seafaring limerick competition will be judged by Bard of Barnsley and renowned English Poet Ian McMillan.

Participants were encouraged to pen a five line poem about the ocean and the men and women who dedicate their lives to working at sea, and all the challenges this entails.

The Society is proud to announce this year the competition is sponsored by The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO). The NFFO is the representative body for fishermen’s groups, individual fishermen and producer organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland representing all sizes and classes of fishing vessels, including under-10 metre beach launched vessels, to 60 metre pelagic and distant waters vessels.

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. The winners video can be viewed here:

The video announcing the highly commended videos can be viewed here:

The winner of the adult category was Peter Hamill from Accrington, Lancashire


When the wind from the west blows a gale
With the waves washing over the rail
Think back on the days
When the sky was a haze
And the sea was as smooth as the sail.

The winner in the 18 and under category was Jade Cuttle from Selby, North Yorkshire

Through tides that tear the shore to shreds,
And winds that whip and dust the decks,
That rip at rails and sagging sails,
Through gust and gale and hurling hail,
This ship will storm the seas ahead.

Highly commended was Alan Eavis from Whitby, North Yorkshire

A salty old sea-dog named Trevor,
sailed to Oz with Cook on ‘Endeavour’.
There a large kangaroo
danced a jig for the crew
‘Well, I never,’ said Trevor ‘that’s clever.’

Highly commended was Jen Larkin from Riding Hill, Northumberland

They sail out again and again
Not fearing the wild wind and rain
They laugh at the storm
Their cabins are warm
But those left at home bear the pain

Below are a selection of our favourite limericks from Anthony Fawcett, Sheila Newsome, Bev Teague and Andy Graves

There was a young man from Clovelly,
Who gave his boat too much wellie.
He ne’er caught a fish
To put on his dish
So he gave up and opened a deli!


There was a good doctor from Bath,
Who was always good for a laugh.
When he heard of the sailors
Who were lost in their whalers
He found fuel to put in their hearth.


There was a retired Commodore,
Who the fishermen all adore.
He manages by stealth
A large pile of wealth
For those who’ve been flung on the shore.


Twenty one shipwrecked seamen were we
Who gave our lives to the sea
Our bereaved kith and kin
Knew not where to begin
So was founded this great charity.


Come celebrate a birthday with me
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society
175 years
Relieving the fears
Of all who sail at sea


They answer the Siren call
To bring in the fishing haul
Braving wind and swell
And EU quotas as well
So their nets can continue to trawl

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