Sunday, 14 July 2013

Remembrances on SEA Sunday


Its been a weekend of remembrances for me. The First Night of the Proms last Friday reminded me not just of how much I like Vaughen Williams Sea Symphony ,but how clever a painter of musical pictures of the sea was Benjamin Britten .
Today I had another treat as Richard Johnson came to the service at St Johns this morning to talk about the RNLI for Sea Sunday. This gave a chance to remember with grateful thanks his Grandfather,the Fisherman ,Bob Hunter who was my neighbour in Queen Street.
It was not easy moving back to Yorkshire after 25 years in and around London. When Mr Hunter found we were Christians he used to call in and talk about Jesus, about his time in Italy during the war when he witnessed Revival. I began to feel more at home, and one day he said 'thee be a filonian now. ' He was wrong of course, I wasnt born here!
Robert Pearson Hunter and Jean (Richards mother)
Mrs Hunter helped me in the first difficult months when our daughter went off to university and was so unhappy for the first few weeks until she made friends.  Mrs H, used to reassure me that it would be all right. She used to show me the paintings in her front room of ships, and of her Hull relations, and I would tell her of my grandfather who sailed with Wilsons as engineer .I have his Conduct Papers still, and the names of all the ships , all ending in O as they did, and of Benjamin Elder from Skye (died 1856) ,where my ancestors came from,  the Master of the Robarts .
 Being in Iona earlier this year was a wake up call to the way the sea has shaped the religious and spiritual history of Great Britain. I wonder what Liz Kitching will have to say about Hilda of Whitby at MU on Wednesday. Iona wasn't always an outpost near Mull, but an island in a busy Trading route. My own relations in Isle Ornsay made a living from trading.
And so back to Filey. I go back to 1993 when the Filey Fishermans Choir took the Evening Service at St Oswalds. I was worried about the children, 2 away from home , and Malcolm Johnson  (Richards Dad) was doing the anchorman job between hymns. He talked of God throwing out a lifeline to us when we are in difficulty, and how we have  to catch hold of it! And so I was able get my thoughts back in proportion  and call out to God.
The RNLI are a huge part of the life of Filey, and Old Mr Hunter would have been so pleased to see Richard today, and know that he is deputy Coxswain of our lifeboat. He also plays the Organ in Filey Methodist Church.
So I have just walked over to the churchyard to see Mr and Mrs  Hunters grave , snug against the North Wall . One more thought came to me on Sea Sunday. My sister ,staying with us,ill after chemotherapy ,would go for a stroll. She would come back and say I just went to see Mr Hunter. She has been in remission for some years now, after 26yrs of chemo, when a new drug which did the trick .

So  SeaSunday didn't even end there for me. I remember now all the work of the Flying Angel , now Mission to Seafarers , and their work in Hull off the Hedon Road, and boys from Greatfield High  who would go straight from school to work on a Trawler . I remember the times we had to stand for a minutes silence in Assembly remembering a former pupil who had died at sea. Trawlers are no longer in Hull, only the North Sea Ferries and Oil tankers to Saltend and cargo ships now-No more Fish Docks. Every day my father would take his telescope and tell us what was in Alexandra Dock,  Victoria Dock or King Georges Dock, looking from his bedroom window in Saltshouse Road. Sutton . 

Sue Neilson remembered how Eternal Father was sung at the funeral of her Filey Fisherman Cappleman Father. Spouse always plays it on the Organ at St Os for Jennifer Williamson, her favourite too, when we are doing the Flowers for Easter and Christmas and Harvest.

So next time you have some fish  from Lovetts , remember where it came from , be it Dogger bank or Atlantic, Filey Bay or off the coast , and that  Tee Shirts from China have come across the world in a Container Ship to the  North Lincolnshire ports of Grimsby and Immingham. Remember too the sons of Filey who are at sea now, or like Richards brother, working the ferries that still are lifelines for those in  Arran and the Hebrides, Ireland or the Isle of Man. 

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.




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