The owner of the pleasure boats in Eastbourne made a special visit to Causeway School so that students involved in the Secret Catch project could interview him.
Brian brought his collection of photographs and talked to the students about his memories from his collection including the types of boats and fish that they caught. We saw a photograph of his great grand father and the seafront as it originally was.
Each of the students prepared a list of questions around topics that they would like to find out more about in relation to the heritage project around the history of the fishing families in Eastbourne.
During these interviews we learned more about the Allchorn Pleasure Boats that were serviced in Eastbourne.
As a fisherman in Eastbourne we also heard more about types of fish that Brian caught along with details of how they cooked them including how smoking preserved them. He also talked about the fishing regulations of catching small fish in addition to to finding out about his biggest catch! On an average fishing trip 40-50 stone of spratts which they would catch by nets and taken to the market each day.
We heard about how the development of the sovereign harbour made it easier for fishing boats to go into the sea, when in turn allowed for bigger boats and bigger catches. Brian shared more about how his family were involved in Eastbourne Lifeboats.
We also learned how the fishing families went down from generation to generation and eventually died off as sons chose not to follow the business family and seek careers elsewhere. We asked Brian what the fishermen wore at sea and learned that they wore frocks underneath their life jackets. We also found out how weather made a difference to fishing and we know that snow is the worst however the calm sea would be the most difficult to navigate as you normally use the wind to steer the boats.
Brian shared some family stories on what it was like to be in Eastbourne during the war and experiences of being evacuated. We also asked him about the types of people that used his pleasure boats including the odd celebrity including Molly Sugden.
Brian worked on the boats until he retired and despite spending most of his life at sea never learned to swim!
We have spaces available for everyone else wanting to join us on the Secret Catch especially those interested in art an wanting to help put the exhibition together.
Next week we will be interviewing Paul Metcalfe from Eastbourne Lifeboats and we look forward to seeing you all, 3pm in the Gallery.