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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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How was the fishing industry run? Mary Denness 2

How was the fishing industry run?
Well it goes back beyond the trawling tragedies of 1968 it’s the way the industry was run. We’re going back a long time ago. It was the middle of the 20th Century. Coal miners had got better deals and better employment. Factories were running in a better way - more safety.  There were factory acts and everything. The trawler industry, no. It was run as in Nelson's time. Casual labour meant that the trawler owners didn’t have any responsibility towards their employees. It also meant that a trawlerman signed on a ship, he could only be guaranteed employment when he was out in the fishing grounds. If he came home and was ill, there was no sickness benefits for him. There was no commitment at all on the part of the trawler owners to take responsibility for their employees. Because when they signed off the ship, when they came home, they were no longer employed by that firm. So three weeks was a maximum they could be employed and that was really disgusting that that happened in the 20th Century.
· Where did you grow up?

I was born on Hessle Road in the middle of the fishing industry- my father was a trawlerman I came from a family full of boys. I was the only girl and had nine brothers. I did have a sister, but she died when she was young. Five of my brothers went to see on trawlers and the other four went to sea in the merchant navy. So they were all seamen of some sort. We were very much a sea faring family.