Did the skippers drive the crews hard? Mike Allison 1
Yes, they had to drive the crews hard. It was a hard job. That’s why, they got the people who was born at Brits ah Wick. Like me. My father didn’t want me to go fishing. So I went in the navy. They taught me to be an operator and when I come out the navy he couldn’t stop me. So I went fishing.
What was life like as a radio reporter?
It was a hard job. The weather wasn’t good. The fish was poor. The skipper had to chase it. To chase it he had to stay up a long, long time; many, many hours. It put him in a ratty mood. The crew was all down below, you was on the bridge with him. You had to take the rattiness and just accept it. Because you knew if he found fish then he‘d be a happy man again, 'cos it was filling his bank book. Not mine, my corny paid me a very small wage and I got a little bit of a share; but it was hard work. You got paid on shares. A skipper would be able to tell you more about shares. If you didn’t catch any fish... I got paid 'cos my corny paid me a weekly wage and then they subcontracted me, they loaned me out to fishing companies; so when that ship come in dock, if your fish didn’t sell and you landed in debt - the crew picked up nothing, I picked up nothing. But because I work for my corny I had a weekly wage. So when the ships docked we all signed off the ships log. The crew had to go sign for the dole. I never, because I was getting a weekly wage. Naturally, the crew got more shares than me, that’s fair enough, I never disagreed with that because I had wages when I was home. That’s the difference between radio officers, in a log book we’re the only officer, in those days, it’s changed now, it was skipper, mate, chief engineer, second engineer, radio officer. I never classed myself as a radio officer 'cos I’m off Hessle road, I grew up with the lads I went fishing so I was just one of those.