Hearsay 14 A Star is Born

The first day’s shooting was nearly over, little in the way of filming more listening to the director communicating. He had been trying to get over an image, his own and the product. They were making a TV commercial. Dominic was there for more a visual presence and perhaps a few words, but that was yet to be decided.

"We want to get over the freshness of the catch, portray the healthy side of eating fish and promote a child-friendly message. We want the kids to want it: to love it."

Len Gidley was to pilot the boat. He and Dominic had met and got on well.

“Mr Gidley,” the producer said, "Mr Gidley, tomorrow when you get the ship where we want her, can you keep it nice and still."

"Should be OK."

"Jolly good."

The producer moved on to another group. Len leaned over to Dominic and whispered,

"Fat chance. No steerage when she’s not moving.”

"So you've got to be going somewhere, even if it’s the wrong direction, to enable you to go in the right direction eventually."

"So to speak, Mr Robb, yes that's about right. See you tomorrow."


"For Christ’s sake, Gidley, can’t you keep this paddle boat still? We want that view, not the one to that side or the other side just this one behind me."

An assortment of irate voices shouted from the bankside boats as Compton Castle slewed into some moorings.

Dominic Robb stood in his sailor's uniform, a parrot perched on a shoulder.

"What the f!! is that Mr Robb. We’re doing a TV commercial not Treasure Island, Who do you think you are?"

“The captain of the Compton Castle. The Bird's Eye boat captain."

"Yes, okay but please, not with a parrot. Get that thing off your shoulder Robb."

"Captain Robb, if you don't mind."

"Don't push your luck captain."

By now Len Gidley had got the boat where the producer wanted and shooting continued for the rest of the day.

"That made my day Robbo, seeing you, and the look on that directors face when you were telling everyone you were the Fish Finger Captain," said Len.

"Yes, that’s me, Captain of the Compton Castle; Captain Birds Eye.”

Sam Baume and Harry Wood were waiting when Compton returned to the quayside.

“ Welcome home Captain Len,” said Harry.

“ No Harry, this is the captain, Birds eye captain Dominic Robb.”

“ We’ve not met, have you had a good day?”

“ Yes thanks but haven't we met before. I recognise that accent. When she was in Kingswear? A photo?"

Harry remembered.

“ Good God aye. I was in the boat , and I got you to take a photo of me. I threw you my camera and you nearly-”

“But I didn’t.”

“I remember how delighted you was to see her still around.”

“You never said you were the owner.”

“ Didn’t I ?"

He winked and they shook hands.

“ I’m the owner.”