Docking of the Jervis Bay

Plus song Rolling Down The River by Jack Forbes

Jervis Bay
Jack Willis
Jack Forbes - Leigh Folk Festival

In the early 1980s the Essex-based broadcaster and journalist Dennis Rookard produced a series of radio programmes to be broadcast on hospital radio.

An interesting extract from one of these programmes called Wind Over Tilbury can be heard by going to the Essex Record Office Blog. The container ship Jervis Bay is being lined up to enter a lock. There are also some interesting pictures of Tilbury Riverside Station and Docks

In Wind Over Tilbury the South-Essex musician and songwriter Jack Forbes composed a song specifically related to the subject in hand called Rolling Down The River.

You can hear the full song here on youtube

Here are the words to the song:-

Rolling Down the River (Rolling Up, Rolling Down)

I once was a rigger & I worked like hell
Rolling up, rolling down
But now I’m working with the OCL
And go rolling down the river


Rolling up, rolling down,
We’ll all get drunk in Tilbury Town
In twenty four hours we’ll turn around
And go rolling down the river


The work is good and the wages fine
When you take a trip on a container line

The cargo comes in TEUs
That’s a twenty-foot box boys filled with booze

When I first saw a TEU
I wondered where they stored the crew

There’s a Tilbury girl called Kettle Jane,
First on the boil then off again,

She’s got a friend called Teapot Anne
When she’s well brewed she’ll take a man

Those Tilbury girls go round in pairs
You’ll never catch them unawares

But at the dockyard gates when the work is done
You can pick ’em up boys, one by one


© Jack Forbes wrote and recorded the song ‘Rolling down the River’ in 1982 for a radio programme about Tilbury Docks. It has since been used in an educational Drama production, a Folk Theatre presentation and also as a Morris Dance, as well as being sung all over the world.

It can be heard wherever there are shanty sessions at folk festivals and festivals of the sea. There is an American version and a Polish version (sung of course in Polish).

Pictures of the Jervis Bay by Jack Willis can also be found on this site




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