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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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How did you start on the trawlers? Mike Allison 5

How did you start on the trawlers?
Well, next trawler skipper so I started right at the bottom as a dicky learner and worked my way up through bowson to mate till I finished up skipper. Well I went to see from 15 years old when I left school and I didn't know what it was going to be like. We went on the fourth on January, middle of winter and went straight up in to the Artic circle where there was plenty of ice and snow something. I was not expecting to be as bad as it was. So I started the ver, very hard way straight on the deck. Most youngsters who started as sea would go in the galley and learn what they call their 'sea legs', stop being sea sick, learn how to stand up on a rolling ship and so forth. Unfortunately it didn't work out for me, I went straight on the deck right in among the weather and I thought I was going to die.
Did you have a kit bag?
Yes I had a kit bag. I had two. One kit bag was for my ordinary clothes jerseys, trousers, shirt and so forth. The other kit bag was for all my water proofs. They were very big kit bags because you had to have very long thigh boots and oil skin frocks as they used to be in those days before they turned in to rubber frocks. A frock was a large smock really and gloves and so forth. So I had to have two kit bags.
How many changes of clothes did you have?
At least three changes of clothes from trousers, gurnseys and under clothes. You had to have three changes because very often you got wet straight away on the deck and you might have to go off and changed in to another set of gear and you might get wet very quicky as well. You had to get them dry as fast as you could so we had to have three changes of warm clothing and at least two changes of your water proofs. You used to wear what they call 'long Johns' because everything used to get frozen if you were not wrapped up. Big boots stockings made out of wool and a thick shirt of course. On top of that we would wear a jersey or gurnsey, usally a rolled neck coming right up to here (chin). When you went on deck or course you had to put the water proofs on.