Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 12

Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 12
A taxi crawls down to the fishing quays at Fleetwood, north-west port of the fisher- fclk, loaded up with radio sets and electric fires — and piled high with top, and the latest in Stetson, hats. The fishing skipper who has hired it sits b rck among his treasures, smoking a fat cigar. He doesn’t speak much English, but he is happy — and rich. Yes, you’re right — he’s an Icelandic trawl- erman. He is enjoying the reward well-earned for his hazardous voyage to Britain with a ship load of good fresh fish, another valuable contribution to our wartime larder. ■Icelandic fishermen are making fortunes in 1he Fleetwood fishing industry and are spen- ding huge sums of money in the shops there causing the most extraordinary boom the town has known for years. These fisherfolk are making from £ 80 to £ 100 each for a trip lasting 10 days — but they are not allowed to take more than £ 10 out of Britain.. their money is frozen. So most of them spend the surplus on goods they can take home and sell. Everytime a trawler comes into port — and they arrive usually on five days of the week — the men go out on mass shopping expedi- tions. It is therefore not uncommon to see them driving round town in a taxi laden with clothing, electric apparatus, and crock- ery — anything they can lay their hands on. Often suites of furniture and second-hand motor cars are loaded on to the trawlers to be taken back to Iceland. And when these husky fishermen buy they buy. One skipper strolled into a shop and instead of buying one suit of clouthes he bought a dozen expensive suits. The same skipper went into a well-known hat shop and bought eight silk top hats. These fishermen are making their money because most of Britain’s trawlers have been acquired by the Government for other pur- poses. One catch, for instance, realised £11,574 — the result of 10 days’ fishing. The usual tak- ings vary from £3.000 to £10.000. And so it’s not surprising that Fleetwood is enjoying a boom — probably bigger and better than any experienced in pre-war days. Our England The cold Atlantic water, grimly sweeping O’er Iceland’s barren shores, nor ever sleeping, While in captive bounds, fair England’s sons, Their tireless vigil, constant keeping, Man Freedom’s guns — What story bringest thou from that fair beach Which thou canst circle, though beyond my reach? I listen to thy murm’ring, fondly peering Toward the land which thou art ever nearing, And to my query, like a soothing balm, Thine answer cometh — blessed hearing —, “Thou may’st be calm. Thy kinsman stands, as thou art standing here, On that beloved shore — Thou need’st not fear. For Britain’s sons and daughters, nothing daunting, Are guarding well their own; no tyrant taunting Shall ever seize the fortress they have made, Nor will they rest until, all perils flaunting, The debt is paid. Fear not for England, ye who gaze across the ocean, For she will live by England’s own devotion. J. S. Woodford. 10 CHRISTMAS IN ICELAND


Christmas in Iceland

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