The Battle with the Dutch Sailors

I have often wondered how they explained it to the Captain and what punishment they received. We, of course, thought we had a great time and had won the battle.

One Saturday afternoon, we were playing on the shores of the Tyne.  There was a Dutch ship tied up at the staithes, these ships were always immaculate, usually with a green hull and deck with white upper structure.  Suddenly, a potato landed by us then another.  They were coming from the ship which towered above us and were being thrown by two young crew members who were obviously peeling spuds for a meal when the rest of the crew returned.

We couldn’t get at them, they had the advantage, but they did not realise that we loved a fight and loved to win.  We thought “how can we turn the tables?”, then it came to us – up the bank and onto the coal staithes.  We were not thirty feet or more above them and lying around were huge lumps of coal which had fallen off the trucks.  We each grabbed one and together dropped them onto the deck.  They exploded like shells, the two young men dived into the cabins for shelter.  We continued to drop coal until the deck was totally covered in coal.

I have often wondered how they explained it to the Captain and what punishment they received.  We, of course, thought we had a great time and had won the battle.

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