How much fuel did you use on a fishing journey
Well depending what type of engine it was. A diesel engine, you didn’t put as much in as an oil fuel engine. Have you seen the
Arctic Corsair? On the trips you would burn about average four and a half to five ton a day. But on a steam job, those that burnt oil, it would be eight or nine ton a day. And when it was coal, some of them used to burn 18 ton a day, when you was steaming. But the average for the trip was ten ton a day. So it was a lot of coal to burn, was that. That was years and years ago, though.
What was it like working on a trawler?
Well down in the engine room we did the same work when there was a storm and when there wasn’t. It was on the deck where they couldn’t work in a storm in any case. So then they used to catch up with their sleep. Otherwise they were fishing 18 hours a day.
Were there any times you were scared on the ship?
Times I was scared on the ship? How much time have you got?! Quite a few times, but once you got over it you used to forget about it. It never played on your mind otherwise you would just pack up going to sea altogether. You had your bad times, and when that was over with you used to forget about it. It was just a way of life, it was.
How long were you at sea?
How long was I at sea? 49 years. 45 of them was fishing, and four years on the stand-by boats.
What did you wear?
Just a boiler suit. Down in the engine room just a boiler suit and your underpants and that would be it, like. But if you come on the deck you’d put dungarees on underneath and muffle yourself up then. Especially winter time.
Did you earn a lot of money?
Some people used to say fishermen got a lot of money, but they didn’t. After three weeks they got it all in one lump sum and they used to blow it in two days. So people had the impression that they were… well, they called them millionaires for two days, you know two day millionaires. But they never had… They always went away skint.