everybody has a story to tell about their life

My father and fishing

Jack Rowe, 2013

Interviewer: Was your dad a fisherman from the beginning?

Jack Rowe: He went fishing as a young lad with his father, on the Annie and when his father died he took over the Annie proper. But he was on the schooners before that.

Interviewer: So he was on the deep sea sail?

Jack Rowe: Well he worked out of Runcorn , near to Liverpool and he used to take coal around to Havers, as he called it. Le Havre as you call it.

Interviewer: A lot of supplies used to come into Port Isaac by sea didn’t they, more than land? The roads were not that good so a lot of supplies would come in…potatoes ..

Jack Rowe: Everything

Interviewer: In and out. When you mentioned your dad’s fishing, what sort of boat did he have? He had a Kelvin engine obviously.

Jack Rowe: He had a lugger type boat.It was the second boat to have an engine in Port Isaac…..in 1911 I think. They went on three and a half horse power (laughs).

Interviewer: did he work that on his own?

Jack Rowe: He worked that on his own. He laid his pots down towards Padstow, down at Pentire and then sometimes he would work up towards Boscastle up to Cambeak.

Interviewer: How many pots would he have worked generally?

Jack Rowe: Fifty….. they were all hand worked big withy pots. Fifty to seventy.

Interviewer: And would he make his own pots?

Jack Rowe: Oh yes, he and his brothers, uncles used to make them out where my garage is now.

Interviewer: Have you still got any withy pots?

Jack Rowe: No, none.

Interviewer: These days I think it’s a skill that’s been lost isn’t it?

Jack Rowe: Yes.

Interviewer: So he would have worked sixty or seventy pots as you say, these days the fishermen that work from Port Isaac are working, what…?

Jack Rowe: One boat works more than the whole fleet did put together, many times over. These boats now work up to a thousand pots, no trouble.


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