Last updated: October 12, 2015
11 October: Over two thousand people took part in the now annual RUN FOR LIFE in support of the Solas Centre, held in Waterford today. The Solas Centre tries to empower those affected by cancer, including their families, friends and colleagues and it has a fine premises at the Williamstown Roundabout where it provides a range of services and facilities for those affected by cancer. Fundraising is always a major issue but the annual run has been a major success, and helps in no small way in raising much needed funds. This year, a second route was added, especially for walkers and families. This 5 mile walk, and indeed the longer 10 mile run, took place in excellent weather conditions and was very well supported and organised.
Our own Hooks and Crookes has been severely hit by cancer, first with John and Michael and more lately with Colm and Tony, so it was great to support this worthwhile event. It was also great to see Colm and Tony singing on a TV programme called Hollywood in Éireann, broadcast on TG4 that night, and in fine voice too, to round off a documentary on the making of the film Moby Dick, by John Huston and starring Gregory Peck, in Youghal in 1954. Poignant indeed.
24 September: Life, inevitably, must go on. It is hard to credit that when we sang in Jack Meades pub in September 2014 for a social gathering of Balloonists in Waterford for the Irish Ballooning Championship that two of our crew members, Colm and Tony, would not be with us when we sang at the same venue for the same group of people in 2015. And so it was, and it was somewhat poignant too, to sing in their shadows, on the same stage and at more or less at the same time and day 12 months later. Life is indeed cruel at times, but however short it may be, it is important to make the best of it. There were only three of us onstage (Ol, Joe & Dec) and that too was a first, a first in that it was the first time that we had ever sung with just three. But sing we did with just three and luckily we had amplification to make sure we were heard singing our mix of shanties – Heave Away, A Rovin (though we had to abandon thatafter one or two attempts at hitting the right note!, another first), Cape Cod, Lusitania, The Ship, Billy O'Shea and Health to the Company, and ballads too – Molly Malone, The Auld Triangle and Maids when you are Young. Joe and Olly contributed to the general sing song afterwards with Lily Marlene.
AVI sang before and after us and what a talented musician she is, and we wish her well in Orlando where she is heading to soon to entertain audiences there.
And so we finished Voyage 11 on a high note (in more ways than one!) and we dedicated the night to our absent friends. We are unsure now what the future holds for us. Time will tell.
4 Sept 2015: We lost another crew member and good friend today, Tony Barden, who passed away this morning after a short illness. He is a great loss to his family and friends, and for us in Hooks and Crookes, it is especially poignant, so soon after losing Colm. May he rest in peace.
23 August 2015: We were delighted to sing at the launch of a book on the Tragedy of the Sea Horse, which took place in the Coastguard Station in Tramore. We did four songs (Haul on the Bowline, Blood Red Roses, Shine on Me & Lusitania), and these were very well received by the attentive audience. The anniversary of the loss of the Sea Horse is in January 2016 and a series of events will be launched around that time and later to commemorate the loss of so many lives in Tramore Bay.
22 July 2015: Our good friend and fellow shantyman, Colm Long, passed away overnight. He will be sorely missed by those who knew him.
May he rest in peace.
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