Mark Luck

On The Turn Of The Tide

  • The passage of time has brought about change to fishing and the boats used by the fishermen on the North East coast. Catch restrictions and grants encouraging the decommissioning of boats have resulted in the fishing fleets of many towns being reduced in size. Despite this decline, many are still carrying on the fishing tradition. Potting for lobsters is the mainstay for fishermen these days. The coble, a traditional open fishing boat, was developed on the North East coast. The distinctive shape of the boat - flat-bottomed and high-bowed - arose to cope with the conditions common on the North East coast. Traditionally, cobles were built from wood. The demand for wooden-built boats has declined and fibre-glass is the material of choice for building modern fishing boats. The traditional skills of building wooden boats is also in decline. Dedicated volunteers at the North East Maritime Trust undertake the restoration and reconstruction of historic boats. Through the conservation of these historic vessels it is hoped that these traditional skills can be kept alive. These photographs are a celebration of the fishermen and boat restorers keeping region’s maritime heritage alive.