Picture Post: Still waters run deep in town’s historic harbour

Like textile mills, ship building and coal mining, there is a tendency to think the fishing industry belongs to a Britain of yesteryear.

PIC: Tony Johnson
PIC: Tony Johnson

It’s easy to understand why. Many of the big fleets have been decimated and most of the small coastal settlements whose economy relied on the sea have now become tourist towns and bolt holes for stressed city workers.

However, in some parts of the country, the industry still thrives and while Bridlington does sandcastles and seaside holidays it also does fishing on an industrial scale.

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Pictured here at night, as boats bob on the calm waters, the scale of the operation is hard to see. However, Bridlington leads the way when it comes to the country’s shellfish hauls and the harbour is home to almost 100 businesses.

Many of those are run by families who can trace their links to the area’s fishing industry back generations. The importance of the port goes back even further.

Two Roman coin hoards have been found in the are and the settlement was mentioned in the writings of Ptolemy as early as the 2nd century who described it as a place with “many harbours”.

It continues to be a vital part of the town’s economy and the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, who have run the site since the late 17th century are keen to ensure it stays that way.

Recently it was announced the harbour will play host to the first ever Bridlington Seafood Festival. Taking place this summer the idea is to both boost visitor numbers to the town as well as raise awareness of the current fishing industry.

Full details have yet to be confirmed, but the event in July will include seafood cookery demonstrations by some of the area’s best-known chefs, as well as a programme of live music and a range of children’s entertainment.

There will also be an opportunity to view the plans for the new Bridlington Maritime Trail, which hopes to further attract visitors to the area, while historian Dr Robb Robinson will be looking back at the development of the harbour.

Technical details Nikon D3s 28-70 lens 2.5 seconds @f8 400ISOU.

Picture: Tony Johnson