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Low Light — A Shanty by Katrina Porteous 🎶

Katrina Porteous is a renowned poet from Northumberland. She is President of the Northumbrian Language Society and an expert in North East fishing heritage.

This is one of her ballads about Britain’s first female fishing skipper, Shelia Hirsch, who still lives in North Shields.

The song is is set and sung by Celia Bryce. You can listen to more of her songs and see her upcoming gigs at and

Enjoy the song and the beautiful haunting sound of the accordian.

Low Light by Katrina Porteous and Celia Bryce
Trawlers in the Gut mid-1960s.
Boats: Border Maid, Border King, Contester and Conmoran.
The King’s Head pub and old Pilot Office are on the bank top.

From the author:

“This ballad was inspired by a conversation with Sheila Hirsch at the Old Low Light, North Shields.

Sheila is believed to have been the first female trawler skipper in the UK, and her 27 years at sea took her all over Britain and to the US. She is now retired and volunteers for the North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project. Fishing is a tough life and, as Sheila points out, fishing people the world over tend to help one another in time of need. Fishing remains the most dangerous occupation in the country, and this ballad is dedicated to everyone who has lost someone at sea.” poetry submissions ad

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