Astonishingly, Cook’s Ship Yard hasn’t always been an estate full of uppity ex-Londoners, Yuppies and hipsters with fancy beards and complicated haircuts. Set your time machine back some 216 years and you’ll discover that it was the epicentre of Britain’s industry, when something called ships were made here. Difficult though it is to believe, classic floaters including The Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure, Mary Rose and Captain Pugwash’s Black Pig were all lovingly built by hand in this once-thriving boatyard.
The good news is that the sound of chisel sawing away at poop deck and hammer snip snip snipping against tiller is set to return as the ship building industry once again hoists its mainsail, unfurls its propeller and swings out its yardarm – or some such clever wordy metaphor nonsense.
The man behind the ship-building renaissance, Ian Boaty-McBoatface Botham explains all in the February edition of Ship Builder’s Monthly magazine, claiming: “My father, his father before him and their grandad were all dentists, but I’d prefer to think of them as boat builders and so I’m looking to re-write the family history by taking over Cock’s Shipyard and bringing ship building back to Wivenhoe. My great, great Grandfather used to tell me how Wivenhoe in its heyday was overflowing with seamen, but since the shipyard closed there’s been hardly a sniff. Hopefully, we can change that”.
Wivenhoe Mayor Dame Dannii Minogue explained her decision to support the re-opening of the once thriving industry, pointing out: “For some reason, these stupid old-fashioned trades seem to play well with voters. You know, mining, steel work, the Spinning Jenny, apple bobbing, all that old shit. By letting this pillock produce his stupid river cars, hopefully we can try and get some of that feel good factor back. I’ve got elections coming up and I need to find a way of convincing these imbeciles to give me another four more years”.