The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137101   Message #3143526
Posted By: Ross Campbell
27-Apr-11 - 02:03 PM
Thread Name: Fleetwood & Fishing: Songs of the Trawling Trade
Subject: RE: Fleetwood & Fishing: Songs of the Trawling Trade
About time I added a song!

The opening song in "The Final Trawl" wasn't one of Ron's, but a traditional song from Sam Larner - "The Smacksman", sung by Dick Gillingham. There's a thread here:- "The Smacksman" with the words and a midi link, and a fourth verse from Chris Amos.

We picked this song to begin the show because smacks were the original means of getting away from the shore to where the fish were in abundance - out in Morecambe Bay or the Irish Sea waters off the Fylde Coast. There are variations of this type of boat all round the British Isles, from Bawleys in the Thames Estuary to Fifies on the east coast of Scotland. The local version is the Lancashire Nobby.

From :-
"Throughout history, local conditions have led to the development of a wide range of types of fishing boats. The Lancashire nobby was used down the north west coast of England as a shrimp trawler from 1840 until World War II. The bawley and the smack were used in the Thames Estuary and off East Anglia, while trawlers and drifters were use on the east coast. Herring fishing started in the Moray Firth in 1819. The Manx nobby was used as a herring drifter around the Isle of Man, and fifies were used as herring drifters along the east coast of Scotland from the 1850s until well into the 20th century."

From the intro to "The Lancashire Nobby" by Nick Miller (Amberley Publishing, 2009. ISBN 1848684908):-
"Telling the story of the once-ubiquitous Lancashire Nobby, a handsome sailing trawler that was once found in every harbour from West Wales to the West Coast of Scotland. This inshore boat worked as a shrimper in Morecambe bay working from the fishing ports of Barrow, Morcambe, Fleetwood and Heysham. It was also worked on the Lancashire coast and Liverpool bay, operating from Lytham St Annes, Southport and the port of Liverpool. The Nobby also worked from Rhyl and Colwyn Bay on the North Wales coast, through the Menai Strait and down into Cardigan Bay, operating as far South as Cardigan and Fishguard."

"Ploughboy" , built at Crossfield's yard in Arnside, is a typical Morecambe Bay Prawner, currently for sale and looking great. Follow the link (courtesy of the Wayback archive - the original page has disappeared) for a great story, pictures (sadly absent from the archive page) and a poem about her sister ship the Cock o' the North, lost on her maiden voyage.