Hugh Shaw


Dedicated to the life of my Grandfather

Hugh Shaw   Master Mariner.

Hugh Shaw was born on the 15th October 1881 in the house next- door to The Halfway House Inn at Connah's Quay on the Dee to a sea faring family as his father was a coasting sea captain. Upon leaving school there was little choice at "The Quay" but to go to sea and Hugh crewed  for his father aboard Alfred of Chester.  By 1904 aged 23 he became Captain of the schooner Elizabeth Hyam.

In January 1910 Hugh married Norah Aldridge of Arlingham and moved his shipping operations to Gloucestershire.   The marriage combined Hugh’s enterprise with that of his Father in Law Lewis Aldridge

Hugh’s grandson Ken Shaw wrote this lovely poem about him.

Old Salts.

My Grandfather and his father before him

Both spent their lives at sea.

So did my dear Uncle Ken,

And he even had the same name as me.

I should have been a sea-faring man

Because it was in my DNA,

But just rowing a boat across the pond

Turned me a whiter shade of grey.

But my Gramps, he was a Schooner Captain.

He sailed fast before the breeze.

And one day he saw a sea-serpent,

While he was eating Hard-tack biscuits and cheese.

He once fell in love with a Mermaid

And they lay together beneath moonlit sails.

Nine months later he became a father,

To twin girls with pisciform tails.

He told me tales of piracy

And of men who had walked the plank.

Of bloody battles on the high seas

And how entire fleets of ships were sank.

Some of the stories he told me gave me quite a scare,

But he placed his big paw upon my hand

And he said: “Don’t worry lad, take my advice,

You’ll be much better off on dry land.”

Ken Shaw 2017