Monday, 14 January 2008

Wreckers

On Saturday night Timewatch ran a programme on Wreckers, www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008pyps , telling the story of people who supposedly lured ships on to the shore, and murdered the crew, in order to plunder the cargo. The programme focused largely on Cornwall, and despite only being able to produce evidence of one person ever having been convicted of Wrecking, gave us the whole Daphne du Maurier Jamaica Inn experience, with knowing nods and winks from local characters and fruity West Country accents.

Obviously if a ship did come on to the shore, it was a bonanza and not a scrap was waisted. But ships foundered so regularly on the North Cornwall coast, that there was hardly any need to lure them in. Really, this whole story is a slander on the brave men who lived, and still live, by the sea. The men of the lifeboats who go out in the worst of weather to save lives, sometimes tragically loosing their own. Look at the lists of lives saved, posted outside any of the lifeboat stations. The men of the Pilot Giggs who rowed out into the Atlantic to guide ships safely in. And the fishermen who work the sea. Really the story of life by the sea is one of hardship and great sacrifice. The Timewatch team should be ashamed of themselves, for it is them that's making profits dishonestly.

2 comments:

sigmundfloyd said...

why was it a slander? This was a programme specifically about wrecking. Why just because they didn't speak about those who make their living from the sea was it a slander against them? Besides, they did speak about life savers, there was an item on a family of plunderers
which turned into a family of life savers through the generations.

Rob Nolan said...

Fair comment, but whilst I can't say I know more about that guys family than he does, we're back on 'wink and a nudge territory'. How does he know his Great Grandfather was a Wrecker? where's the evidence? it's still one conviction and a lot of folklore. And I think the program is highlighting a myth, which is a slur on what people actually did.