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The Pirate, and his perch

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

So why are we called ‘Pirates Perch Surf Hire’? Well, that derives from our house name, which itself comes from a poem. This was written by The Pirate in the 1920's, the decade in which our house was built. Enjoy the read, it's a little long but we love the history and imagery. All we need now is a pirate mascot and a barrel of rum...


“Pirates Perch


The year “seventeen,” when Sir Nick was a Hun:

On the land and sea, torpedo and gun;

Cowardly and foul, conscience he had none,

Not a care cared he, how the deed was done.

In peaceful waters out of sight he’d lurk,

Sinking merchant ships, was his devilish work.

The crews with their wives, he treated with scorn;

Strange that such creatures from mothers are born.


Of the ships they sank, the cargo and gear

Were driven ashore, or, seen floating near –

Rubber, and petrol, wax, wines, rum and beer,

Besides other stuff, that was scarce and dear.

But the coast was watched, the way wasn’t clear

For the men, a few, to be found just here,

Acting the smuggler, as times long before;

The smuggling spirit was revived once more.


The night was frosty, the weather was fine,

I met with my pal, and said, “About nine

We’ll pull to Trevug, we’ll want a stout line,

And a grapnel too; I’ll take along mine.

There’s a barrel there, Joe says it’s full,

The sea is smooth, but it’ll be a hard pull,

If it happens to be full of ‘you know what’

It’s worth the pull, are you game or not?”


He never said ‘No’ when he found me game,

Whatever we got, we both shared the same.

Between ten and eleven we were well away,

Past Crantock, Porth-joke and Holy-well bay,

Outside of Trevug – a cave in the cliff,

To enter by night, wants nerves strong and stiff.

The sound of the swells in the crevice deep –

A dull sullen sound, like a madman asleep.


My pal with both oars, I stood in the bow,

We got safely in – I cannot tell how,

For the place not safe to enter by day.

We secured the cask, and made for the bay:

Better going out, there was light ahead.

Towing the barrel, the pulling was dead,

The danger was past. “There’s something for each,”

We said, as we moored it on the beach.


When carting it, we were seen by a few,

It was daylight then; we hid it from view.

But the news soon went to the men in blue,

Whose duty it was to get the right due

On goods of value that were washed ashore.

An empty barrel I had in my store,

Same size – an hundred gallons or more –

That was brought from the beach the day before.


There’s always a girl in a tale to tell,

And Mary Mcgel was the village belle.

She came straight to me, she’d something to say –

“Two Coastguards’” she said, “are coming this way,

If you’ve got something you’d better be quick,

Don’t be had by them; I hope them you’ll lick.”

I thanked her, and kissed her; don’t say I’m rough,

I’m married you see, one kiss was enough.


Mary was a sport; I took her advice,

To use my wits, in cheating the Excise.

Rolled the empty cask, and set it on end,

And sat on the top, waiting, a pretend,

Just a careless sit, if taking a rest.

When I heard them near; one said in a jest –

“Here’s the Pirate sitting on his perch,

You’ve got a fine view – fine view of the Church.”


That instant I got for my house a name;

I almost felt glad those gentleman came;

“Pirate’s perch,” I said, “I’m obliged to you,

Come in and have a drink with me, now do.”

“We’re not house-agents,” he said, looking stern.

His hands on the cask, he gave it a turn;

”Where’s the contents of this barrel?” asked he.

Said I. “I’ve no doubt but it’s in the sea.”


Bill, the coast-watcher, looked over the fence.

“Come here,” said the chief, “let’s have some sense.

Is this the cask you reported to me?”

“I rather think it’s the same,” said he.

The chief said something, two words, with a sneer:

“You should have more sense, than bringing us here,

You have far more important work on hand

Than reporting casks, half full of sea sand.”


Like the best of friends, we parted that day,

Bill looking sheepish, when he went away,

For he knew that I knew, but yesterday

He had sold some planks, he took them from the bay.

But I said nothing, it’s better to stay,

Than being too quick in having one’s say.

One word brings another and causes dismay,

When rogues with each other fall out in their play.


The name ‘Pirate’s Perch’ I cut on the gate.

“Appropriate name,” said I, to my mate:

In the summertime many folks pass by,

With a look on the gate, then wonder way –

Such an awful name, where English folk live.

In these simple lines, the reason I give,

That the folks may know in the years to come,

How the name was had, and the cask of rum.”

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