The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24796   Message #287182
Posted By: Liam's Brother
29-Aug-00 - 11:45 AM
Thread Name: Who's Ewan MacColl?
Subject: RE: Who's Ewan MacColl?
Hi Lighthouse!

Ewan MacColl was never a sailor and I understand that what may have been his only ride in a fishing boat was not too pleasant for him. One of the people he interviewed (and collected traditional songs from) for the radio ballad Singing the Fishing was a retired herring fisherman from Winterton, Norfolk named Sam Larner. Sam was a firecracker of a bloke although he was in his '80s, as I recall, at the time. "The Shoals of Herring" was written by Ewan based on his interviews with Sam. An LP was made of Sam including both talk and songs. It was issued in the USA by Folkways.

My father and I drove over to Winterton in 1968 or 1969 in the hopes of possibly meeting Sam. He had, sadly, died a few years earlier but we got to speak with some of his friends. The herring fishing was done there in small boats just off the shore and it struck us just how local everything was. There was no harbor; the boats were pulled up on the beach near a few tiny sheds to store gear and make a cup of tea. I suspect there had been hardly any change in many years.

All the best,
Dan Milner