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Letters to the Editor - souperstishions.
From the newsletter of the Colne Smack Preservation Society, Brightlingsea, Essex, UK

p 7

A foggy day.
The days when you could walk across the harbour without getting your feet wet.

Distressed Seamans Home
Battery Green Road

Dear Mr. Walker,

I'v bin tellin Matron some yarns lately and she sed I should write and tell you about sum of the souperstishions sum of our old skippers had.

Firinstance green was always reckond to be an un licky color tho I hadnt any time for this old skwit meself, besides if it really was unlucky they wouldnt be allowed to make it.

I do notis that sum of your little old Members bots paint there top rails green and I just think that might be tempting prividence a bit to far.
I remember once laying at anchor under the West barrow, it was blowin a gale from the S.S.W. on a spring ebb, the skipper was hoping for the wind to suthor so that we could fetch up under the garrison, howsumever at about 2 hours ebb there came a extra very hard squall and she bust her chain.
The skipper shoved the helm hard over and ordered the forsail to be set. It was very dark but our only chance was to run for it, there was no lights in the Swin then and the skipper was very concerned to find the Spitway.
Me and the mate was stairen thro the gloom when I noticed the sky getten lighter and I just glimsed the south Wittaker buoy, this was just what the skipper wanted and he set a course N.E. for a father mile and a half then turned true North.
By this time the sky over Clacton lit up and we new we were looking at Aroa Boriloss, this was reckoned to be the worst sign of bad luck that you could git so far South of the North Pole, but the church ashore was clear to see and this was the leading mark thro the spitway then. St. Elmos fire lit the sky right up.
I was on the led and found just a foot in the hollows, rare feared we was I can tell you. Then I found a little more water, then two fathom next three then 4 and when we found 7 fathom we new we was safe.
All the way down the Wallet the skipper kept sayin thats strange that is, the shorest sign of bad luck yet if that didnt lite up the sky like that I dont think weed have found the Spitway and would proberbly founded and broke up on the gunfleet.
When we got to Harwich we brought up in the pound on the spare anker, lovely and carm in there and we all tumbled down below when somebody sed where is Joe. The skipper sed I thought heed turned in, but he addent. We then serched the ship for him, but he was no where on bord, we must have lost him diring the night and nobody seed him go.
So you see what I mean I dont beleeve in all that old skwit about bad luck, but it pays yer play it safe like dont yer think.
Best wishes from Ismail Jenkinson

Thank you Ismail for this charming letter about superstitions. You should meet a fellow member of ours, Dick Harman. He has a whole list of things you should not do on a Smack before you go out to sea on her. I hope you have contacted your old shipmate Mr Tobias Hutchens (Spring 2000 newsletter) . Perhaps Matron would let him stay with you for a yarn over the Christmas period.
. 2001 Roger Walker