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Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

FV Asthore landing Cornish sardines in Newlyn.


Switching from dusk to dawn fishing - the fleet of ring netters working from Newlyn in Mounts Bay have found it more productive to sail in the early hours and shoot before first light. Here the Asthore lands 21 tons sardines.  

Monday, 12 November 2018

CFPO Episode 3 - Brackan


The backbone to sustainable fishing is strong, accurate science. Here at the CFPO we welcome scientists on board our vessels to help build a clearer picture of the health of our fish stocks. Although many fishermen were mistrustful of the work carried out by scientists involved in fisheries research many have now come to see that without accurate data the industry as a whole cannot fight those organisations who seek to curtail their fishing effort in the light of biased data taken from third party agencies. There are over 7000 UK fishing vessels - each one is potentially capable of contributing to a national bank of fishing data - citizen science is the most cost effective and efficient way to empower the industry.

Come and hear once such advocate for citizen science as skipper Brackan along with researcher, 'Spike' Searle aboard the Spirited Lady III both give us a glimpse of life on an over-10m fishing vessel and explain why sustainability and science are so important.

CFPO film prodiced by Nina Constable Media (https://www.ninaconstable.co.uk/) & Mindfully Wired Communications (https://www.mindfullywired.org/).




Monday morning's fish auction in Newlyn


It's all about the fish - with fish in short supply owing to UK-wide poor weather for the last week prices were strong as buyers were kept busy bidding on Monday morning's market ...



plenty of line caught mackerel...



and a few interlopers too...



of the herring variety...



filled up one corner of the market with some stacks seven boxes high for each size grade of fish...



both of the beam trawlers that landed over the weekend had been working on the cuttlefish grounds...



thought that doesn't stop them from picking up prime fish like these turbot...



or even a few beautiful big bass...



and with so little fish and a big demand the porters are quick to set to clearing their buyer's purchases from the auction floor...



also ready to go are the owner's 'homers'...



prime fish are all machine graded, like these monk tails... 




Dover soles...

 and are kept in a separate sale area...



sometimes the labelling goes wrong...



and then right...



not that that bothers the buyers who are keen to get the best price they can for their customers, many of whom are chefs and suppliers of the best restaurants not only in Cornwall but London and beyond...



especially size Grade 2 lemons which are a perfect fit for the average diners dinner plate...



evidence that it was a black night in more ways than one with plenty of cuttlefish ink running across the quayside...



also having a long dark night was the beam trawler, St Georges which had picked something up in her propeller - necessitating a two - nearest boat being the Trevessa IN who promptly curtailed her steam to the cuttlefish grounds east of the Lizard and headed back south west to 



the Trevessa shadowed the St Georges for a few miles before picking up a warp to tow her with...



the boats use about 175 fathoms of warp so that the weight of the warp dragging in the sea helps prevent it coming tight and constantly snatching thereby increasing the chances of damge to either vessel...


first light and the two boats have just become visible on the webcam...



before the Danmark is dispatched to tow her in...



along with Stevenson's tugboat, helping to guide her stern in an awkward fresh breeze...



safely in the harbour heading for a drying out berth against the quayside.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembering my grandfathers, both of whom served in the Great War.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."






Joseph William Burnett was born on the 19th November in 1900.



His Discharge Book shows his first trip was aboard the merchant ship, Inea then aged just 15 and 1 month - his first trip took him to the USA and lasted over 6 months.



For his role aboard merchant ships he was awarded the service medal and the Merchant Navy service medal.

"The bronze Mercantile MarineWar medal was awarded by the Board of Trade to members of the Merchant Navy who had served at sea for at least six months or sailed on at least one voyage through a war zone.
The front depicts George V and the back shows a merchant ship in stormy seas, an enemy submarine sinking and a sailing vessel with the words 'For War Service - Mercantile Marine - 1914-1918'.
The ribbon has two bands of green and red separated by a thin white stripe. The colours represent starboard and port lights with the masthead light in the centre. A total of 133,135 were issued."


His name is inscribed on the side of both medals.


In 1917 he was one of 3,964 merchant seaman who attended a gunnery course at Crystal Palace in London.








Sheaf Holme built in 1929.

After the war he continued to sail on different merchant ships as Chief Steward, whose role was to provision and look after the welfare of the ships crew. The longest trip was on the Sheaf Holme, saw him circumnavigate the globe, a trip that lasted for 2 years and 10 months. In those days, such were the length of the trips, the nomadic life of the ships and the lack of air travel, by the age of five he had only seen his daughter twice, both times for a matter of days..

He left the merchant Navy in 1939 to work for the Glacier Metal Company, London and died in June 1980.

RIP Grandpa Burnett.



Claude Noel Hartwell





Born in 1889, Grandpa Hartwell was joined the army in 1914.



He was cited for bravery - family legend has it that he disobeyed an order in doing so which prevented him from being awarded a medal!



 This is his Royal Field Artillery uniform jacket with the Mons Star ribbon bar. As a member of the British Expeditionary Force, also known as the Old Contemptibles, who landed in France soon after the outbreak of the War and who took part in the Retreat from Mons, hence the medal's nickname "Mons Star". He served for all four years of the war including the Somme and Paschendale and seldom talked about his experiences. 


Here's an transcript from a piece written by one of his sons, Bernard Hartwell:


CLAUDE NOEL HARTWELL (1889 – 1972) AT PASSCHENDAELE 1915 – 1918.
Germany invaded Belgium on 4th.

"August 1914. Before that there were all manner of territorial ambitions coupled with alliances and treaties between countries within Europe, the Balkans and Russia which are too complicated to go into here but suffice it to say that The Kaiser's Germany had planned for years to get at France via Belgium so, after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian
dissidents, the whole thing blew up. 


Everyone declared war on everyone else and, because Belgium had some sort of pact with Britain, we found ourselves at war with Germany within hours of the invasion. As usual, we weren't prepared for war although we had a well trained but small Regular Army and it was this that we sent to Belgium to try to stem the German advance.

This British Expeditionary Force was described as a “contemptuous little army” by Kaiser Bill (short for Kaiser Wilhelm) but they gave such a good account of themselves in Belgium that they took pride ever after in being called “The Old Contemptibles” With stupid old Generals and ambitious politicians in charge of everything and lots of patriotic gung-ho propaganda going on in the newspapers, the general attitude in the Country was “lets get at 'em boys and it'll be all over by Christmas''. Thousands of young men believed it all and were convinced that it was their duty to King and Country to volunteer to fight, and so they did, including Claude Hartwell, a 25 year old tailor's cutter from Ilford in Essex. 


He first went to a training camp to learn the basics of how to be a soldier; marching, drilling and discipline, etc. Whilst there he expressed a preference to join the Essex Regiment (an infantry unit who were by no means considered to be amongst the elite) because he thought it might be easier to get promotion than in a more illustrious outfit. 

However, the Army had its own ideas (as they always do) and they selected him for the Royal Field Artillery instead. Up to then he had been training in his own clothes as the manufacturers hadn't been able to keep up with demand for uniforms but he got one soon after he arrived at his new unit in (I think) Aldershot. He had never ridden a horse in his life but he had to learn quickly as the field gun used by the RFA in direct support of the infantry had to be mobile. 

So it was horses, horses all the way with teams of them being used to pull the the 18-pounder guns and ammunition wagons. Many of the men had been drivers in civvy street (everything was still horse drawn in those days) so they were naturals for the teams. Others, like Dad, were more suited to learning the techniques of gunnery and specialised in that. Well, Dad was keen to learn and he also didn't want to remain a “squaddie ” so he soon worked his way up the promotion ladder. By the time he arrived in France with his Regiment in 1915 he was a Sergeant and had his own horse and in charge of a Battery within the Regiment.


The Allies (Belgium, France and Britain) were busy playing chess with their armies and the many commanders all had their own ideas as to how they should conduct their campaigns, so it was a pretty chaotic and competitive attempt to defend France whilst the German army pushed on making ground along the front line which extended from Belgium down to the Swiss border. In the north the Belgians and the "old contemptible" had held up the German advance quite successfully while to the South the German army was pushing into France. This left a 'salient' centered on Ypres in Belgium with the most easterly point being the small town of Passchendale which was at . the end of a long ridge. The German army occupied the high ground on top of the ridge with the British
forces holding the plain below. In between was ground that had a permanent propensity to flood and did so whenever it rained so it became the 'no man's land' between the opposing forces."

He lived and worked as a tailor in London until his death in 1981.



100 years later, videographer Tom Hartwell, whom if Claude Noel Hartwell was still alive would have been his great great grandson created this tribute to that everlasting symbol of the Great War, the poppy.


RIP Grandpa Hartwell

Friday, 9 November 2018

Fabulous start to #FishyFriday in Newlyn!


Four beam trawlers were the only boats to land for this mornings market as big tides and gales conspired to keep most of the fleet bound in port...


big tub gurnard...


turbot, scallops...


and bass made good money...


along with a few boxes of cephalopods...


a good run of brill...


and unusually for a beam trawler a dozen boxes of hake...


for one of the beamers there was only a handful of cuttles...


to go with a good shot of ray...


while two of the beamers managed to amass a few more tubs between them...


like the TwilightIII...


red mullet...


lemons...


John Dory...


monk...


and Dover soles all made good money with  the prospect of bad weather reducing supplies to all fish markets in the UK for the next few days...


so buying was brisk...


there is a lull between storms this morning...


so the sardine boat Asthore sailed at 2am to take advantage and the early start paid off...


for the boat and crew...


as they were able to fill her up with well over 20 tons of fish...


much to the delight of the harbour's resident gull population...


brailing the fish ashore...


250kg at a time...


with a few stops to admire...


the stunning sunrise...


once the auction and landing is over it's time to take advantage of breakfast รก la Swordfish Inn...


with a few well-known faces holding forth.