Barry Field 1
What was life like on Hessle Road at the time of the Triple Trawler Disaster?
When the Triple Trawler Disaster happened, one of the men who died lived five doors away from where we lived and that affected us as well. We all knew somebody. Some people had gone to school with them. Girlfriends were going out with some of the boys, you know, some of the young men who were actually lost on the ships. So it affected everybody at the time.
When did you first go to sea and what was it like?
I went on the
Arctic Corsair. I was only sixteen. I wasn’t actually doing it for a job. I only went on what was called a pleasure trip in September of 1961. And I thought this might be a job I could do, as a radio operator. And I thought well, let’s go and see what it was like. And my uncle was sailing on the
Arctic Corsair at the time. And he said “come along”. I wasn’t doing anything and after being in a storm on the Arctic Corsair for three days, and the ship would be going this way and that way and you’d be in your bunk and the ship would be creaking and you’d think “Is it going to sink?” It made you think about maybe it wasn’t the job I wanted to do. It was really hard. Seeing the men on deck in the middle of the night, they’d be on deck doing the fishing. Gutting the fish, throwing the fish down into the fish hold. It was really hard work. And they didn’t get paid very much, to be quite honest. And you realised they were worth more than they were actually being paid. I actually helped in the fish hold. When the fish came down the chutes all their insides were taken out and you’d pick these cod up and you’d pick the haddock up and you’d lay them on these aluminium shelves and do the ice and the shelving of the fish. And you’d put the lids back on the fish, another lid, and the bodies would still be twitching with the nerves a long time after they were dead. All their insides taken out. It was a really, really hard job. I lived down Hessle Road all my life from being born up to being married. And the conditions down Hessle Road… everybody was very friendly and everybody talks about how friendly it was, but the back to back houses it wasn’t very nice to live in them at the time. Looking back, when you were sleeping three in a room with no central heating and an outside tap and an outside toilet and no bathroom. I don’t think I’d like to go back to those times now, I don’t think.