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Mr Rose (Dad)
Glossary

Glossary

Grammar Glossary

Grammar glossary: what words do

Mr Rose catches the tide
The Cable Ship.
View full size imageThe lighters Samson, Fox and Edinburgh

Mr Rose, Dad, gets up today at five o’clock in the morning

His lighter is moored at Greenwich. The tide carries the lighters up and down the river. When the tide comes in, it carries them west up the river. When the tide goes out, it carries them east, down the river. Today Dad must take his lighter all the way to Putney in West London.

‘Time and tide wait for no man,’ says Dad.

The Cable Ship.
View full size imageSculling

He has his dinner ready. It is a loaf of bread, a raw onion and a piece of cheese. He puts the food in a steel tin. He puts the tin in a canvas bag. He puts a bottle of beer and a bottle of cold tea in the bag.

Dad carries a heavy coat. ‘A long day ahead and plenty of time for rain,’ he says to himself. Then he slips out of the house before anyone else is awake.

He walks through the dark streets to Garden Stairs. At the foot of the stairs Fred Smith, an apprentice lighterman, is sitting in a skiff. Fred will row the lightermen out to their moorings in the middle of the river. Dad gets into the boat, with William Booker, Harry Livett, and Fred’s father, William. They are all lightermen and they all live in Little Thames Street.

‘Was that your Henry I saw, swimming in the river yesterday, George?’ asks William Smith. ‘It better not have been,’ says Dad.

The Cable Ship.
View full size imageTwo watermen

Fred rows the skiff to the lighters. Mr Rose and young Fred climb aboard the old wooden lighter Louise. It first belonged to Granny Rose’s father, when it was built in 1848. Two long sweeps are tied to the deck with a rope.

While Fred unties the lighter from the mooring, Dad starts to row with one sweep. When he has coiled up the mooring rope, Fred rows with the other sweep. The lighter is very heavy, but the two men guide it carefully.

The Cable Ship.
View full size imageA lighter

The tide is low. It has just turned. It is starting to flood gently from the sea. The tide will flow faster later on. It will flood into London for most of the morning. The tide will take the lighters all the way up the river to Putney. The lightermen must steer a course where the river is deep and the tide is flowing. They must avoid water where the tide does not flow well. They must choose the best course through the bridges, and through the busy river traffic. They must not bump into ships, tugs, barges or ferries. They must not get stuck on the mud.

Today, Dad’s lighter is full of paving stones and kerb stones. A ship brought the cargo to Greenwich. At Greenwich the stones were taken from the ship and loaded into the lighters. When the lighter Louise has carried the stones to Putney, they will be used to make a new road.

 

 
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Glossary

Glossary

Grammar Glossary

Grammar glossary: what words do


 
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