The nets have been evicted from the boat shed, and the lobster pots are piled in the rain, waiting for the nettles that will certainly grow through them. In the shed itself the shelves are up and the cobwebs are down. On the shelves are boxes full of hundreds of copies of the first issue of the MQ, neat and bright. Into their envelopes they will go, and on to your doormats they will fall – with any luck by the end of this week, and certainly by the beginning of next.
Jonathon Green, valued MQ contributor, has been fossicking around in the archives as is his wont. He has discovered a vanished eighteenth-century journal called The Marine Mercury, which seems to have had an editorial policy not unlike ours. The nineteenth-century Eclectic Review describes it: ‘The marvellous was gravely blended with the credible; and in the same print which describes the victory of Sir Simeon Heartly over a company of the enemy, we find a true relation of the appearance of a man-fish, about three miles within the river Thames, having a musket in one hand and a petition in the other; credibly reported by six sailors, who both saw and talked with the monster.’