Rusting coble at Flamborough nods to Yorkshire coast maritime heritage

Today, you can just make out her fading name - the Springflower - as she sits looking across the beach at North Landing in Flamborough.

She maybe rusting, but she’s a nod to the proud maritime fishing industry that has been at the heart of the Yorkshire coast for decades. She’s a coble, a traditional fishing boat with a flat bottom and high bow.

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They’ve been familiar sights along the region’s coastline, their distinctive shape allowing them to deal with the conditions there. Their flat bottoms are designed to cope with launching from and landing on shallow sandy beaches and their high bows help them to manoeuvre in the surf of the North Sea.

The remains of a old fishing Yorkshire Coble looks across the beach at North Landing at Flamborough, East Yorkshire. Photo: James Hardisty Camera Details: Camera, Nikon D4 Lens, Nikon 24-70mm Shutter Speed, 1/500 sec Aperture, f/8.0 ISO, 250

An article on the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre website explains how the boats have been brought up the beach after spending time at sea - and how this has changed over time.

“In the past the pulling of cobles up the beach was horse work,” it says. “On some beaches the local fishermen used to pull the boats up the beach with ropes.

“It would seem like the whole community had turned out with all the men, and sturdy looking women in overalls and older children manhandling the boats up the beach.

“Nowadays the boats are pulled up by tractors. Tractors come to Filey to spend their last days hauling up these cobles.”

The heritage centre goes onto explain how cobles adapt to take on different roles with the seasons, the focus being on crabs and lobsters in spring, whilst in summer they might take out pleasure boats or fish for salmon. When autumn comes, they may go out line fishing.

Back to Flamborough itself where the Springflower sits and a number of leisure boat and fishing trips run from North Landing.

Nearby RSPB Bempton Cliffs offers the opportunity to see gannets, razorbills, guillemots, puffins and other seabirds and for those interested in history, one of Flamborough’s two lighthouses is a Grade II-listed building and one of the oldest complete lighthouse structures in the world.