The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
News Newsletter
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund


Ferry Cross the Itchen



The Woolston Ferry Song


4 O'Clock Song


Female Rowers (Old Wife & Reporter)


Poll of Itchen Ferry song


Richard Parker excerpt (Brooks)


Richard Parker song


Click ma Doodle


Pay dispute Endeavour


Endeavour Song


The Itchen Ferry Song


Extract Tom Diaper's Log


Christmas Carols – I saw 3 Ships and The holly & the Ivy


Extract from the Hampshire Chronicle 1828 The Southampton Regatta

 We congratulate the liberal promoters of the Regatta on the successful issue of their laudable exertions. Our river never presented a more brilliant scene, or was honored with a more noble and populous attendance than on Monday which was one of the finest days that ever gladened the face of Nature. A delightful breeze from the NE just enough to give full zest to the sporting combatants and leave an unruffled surface to tempt the timid fair to embark – spread it charms around us, and pleasure wore it most enchanting smile.


At eleven the following rowing match, so marked by interesting features took place and afforded the highest gratification not only from its novelty but from the decent deportment of the women, and the skill and power they displayed in the performance of the match. This fifth and last match by the female rowers reminded this reporter of the event according to Shakespeare of 'Cleopatra going down the Cydnus' and we will answer that they afforded more pleasure to the spectators than were enjoyed by the witnesses of her gorgeousness. Like her's their oars moved to the sound of breathing music; and if they did not evenly stroke, they went round with natural dignity amid the waving of hats and hoorahing of voices and returned, if not as swift as an arrow from a Tartar's bow, much faster than expected with flying ribbons in precisely the order they started which is a proof of the harmony and decorum of the proceeding. They were received with the ribbons of the Green, prizes and tickets for the Play by as many of the spectators as the area would hold.

The names of the heroines are these:


Rose – Elizabeth Blizzard, first prize

May Flower – Maria Diaper, second prize

Catch me if you can – Mary Blizzard, third prize

Anna Maria – Ann Diaper, forth prize

Extract from the Sad Tale of Richard Parker

My name is Ed Brooks, AB and Cook off the Mignonette, that's a joke cook on the Mignonette when it went down taking all our food with it. Some of you will have read of me in the papers, I turned King's evidence in case of the Crown v Dudley & Stephens, my shipmates. Was I a Judas turning on my fellows? I drank, I ate the warm heart but I did not strike the blow that ended Richard Parker's sorry life. I didn't do it, I didn't do it, so what if I exhibited myself at museums and freak shows, The Cannibal of the High Seas, they dressed me in rags and had me eat raw meat – what else could I do, who was going to give me a job at sea till it all died down? I married, had a family, I even went to live in Richard's old village at Itchen Ferry. They put a gravestone up for the boy – not that there was a body, 'Sacred to the memory of Richard Parker, aged seventeen years, who died at sea after nineteen days dreadful suffering in an open boat in the tropics, having been shipwrecked on the yacht Mignonette'.


There was a quotation from the Book of Job, Capt Dudley would have approved of that he was always a praying man.


'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him'


And do you know Richard's brother Daniel, he added a second


'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge'

Lord lay not this sin to our charge

Memories of the Endeavour

Our bid for the America's Cup in 1934 was the superbly trained and fastest boat, Sir Thomas Sopwith's yacht Endeavour we won the first 2 races against the American boat Rainbow. We would have won the series but a dispute broke out between the owner and the professional crew who decided then could not afford to pay for their homes, and buy their own food on a basic wage of £2 15s. There was additional income to be had for winning a race in America £1 for the first race, 15s for the second and 10 bob for the third.


Anyway the crew proposed the should have the same terms as those that had been offered to Shamrock's crew by Sir Tommy Lipton in the previous challenge, a decent bonus if they won. The proposal was rejected. So the crew walked off, they were replaced by a scratch crew of amateur yachtsmen and the series was lost.

Extract from Tom Diaper's Log

So now for the doing of 1904, out of work and no signs of getting any, but all our family had a good enjoyable Christmas. I had brought home with me from Germany a round musical contrivance that you could clamp a Christmas tree on the top of it, wind it up and it would go round and round with music, or without music, carrying a tree up to the weight of one hundred and fifty pounds. We had invited all our friends' children to the number of twenty-four, and it was a pretty sight with the tree dressed up, with Chinese lanterns lit up and the other lights in the room turned out. It looked very pretty and we had an enjoyable evening.