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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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How did you repair the nets? Jim Williams 3

How did you repair the nets?
Repairing the nets? Well, before you repaired them you’d got to know how they were constructed. If you can imagine your mother knitting a pullover for you with arms and side panels, you had to know the dimensions of a trawl. How many mashes there were in this part, how wide it was, how big it was, how many reduction mashes come down to bring it down from the wide mouth. You’ve got to know all about making a net and assembling it before you come to know, before you had to know how to repair it. Once you knew all those dimensions, in your head, not just written down, because when the trawl comes up, slashed all over, you’ve got to run down and guess. And we’re back to that same word again,  experience. You learn it from your ship mates as you go along. And it’s… a lady knitting a jumper or a jersey, she has a knitting pattern in front of her. You’ve got to have your knitting pattern up in your head all the time. There are 200 across here and it comes down from 200 to a 180, down to 100, down to 60. And you have to make that smaller. Once you get down to one spool there’s only 50 mashes across. Things like that. It’s made up into small sections. Let’s see, the top part is made into one, two, three, four, five, six sections. That’s just the mouth of the trawl. What we call the belly’s coming from the mouth down towards the bottom part. That’s where the fish finish up, they’re called the bellies, bellies and baitings. A baiting gets two mashes together in one on that side. Two mashes together in one on the other, which makes that net two mashes less across. You’d do it on the next row less, until you’d come down to the 50y mashes across for your full cod head. All sections, you must know the dimensions of every section before you could start mending it.