The Ghost of the Northern Belle
(The Whistleberry Mystery)
In 1891 on a white – topped morning tide,
A trawler drifting southwards, some fishermen they spied,
Below Whistleberry farm, jist northwards o’ Kinneff,
The Northern Belle she grounded, and this mystery she left.
She wis registered in Scarborough, so said the manifest,
An iron vessel of 80 tons, wi’ all her sails a – set,
The mystery of her grounding deepened, when they went on board,
The helm was lashed both hard and fast, tae steer her tae starboard.
Mr Holmes he wis the chief boatman, o’ the Catterline coastguard,
Found nae trace o’ crew, when he first stepped aboard,
But he found fower pairs o’ seaboots, twa pair had nae been worn,
What fishermen had worn these boots, what loved ones left tae mourn?
The Northern Belle, she joined, the list of Whistleberry wrecks,
The mystery grew deeper, when they ventured below decks,
The boat it was deserted, a meal was half prepared,
Whatever happened there on board, the crew had simply disappeared.
And as the Receiver of Wrecks, to Mr Wallace the task fell,
To try tae piece together, the mystery of the Northern Belle,
Lieutenant Barnard came as well, up frae Montrose RN,
Tae try tae solve the mystery, of the trawler and its men.
The vessel it wis seaworthy, the trawling gear wis stacked,
What caused the boat tae be adrift, they tried tae find the facts,
The hold wis filled up tae the brim, wi’ decomposing fish,
Nae trace o’ crew, the mystery grew, why the Northern Belle had ditched.
What happened between Scarborough toon, and Whistleberry Ness,
Did a sudden storm hit the Northern Belle, why nae signals o’ distress,
Was there some other explanation, for this strange mystery,
Why a trawler crew should disappear, while working the North Sea.
It never came tae light, whit had happened on that boat,
Lost on the Whistleberry rocks, no signals no last note,
God bless these missing fishermen, I hope they’re now at rest,
Or has Whistlebery ga’en us, oor ain Marie – Celeste?
Ramsay © copyright September 2009