Photograph of Ray Morse at North Shields Fish Quay

Ray Morse

Ray belongs to: The Fishermen's Mission

Ray was born in Sunderland into a fishing family. He has fished since the age of 3. He worked from North Shields and Grimsby. Ray is now retired and continues to fish in his leisure time.

Ray was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 8 November 2005. The interview took place at North Shields Fishermen's Mission and lasted 54 minutes and 21 seconds.

Photograph of Ray Morse at North Shields Fish Quay
Photograph of Ray Morse at North Shields Fish Quay

An unforgetable trip

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"This is one trip that I’ll never forget as long as I live"

This is one trip that I’ll never forget as long as I live. It was when we totally filled the boat in the fish hold with plaice, which is a flat fish. There was just on 300 kit in her and the three of us to put the last baskets in the fish-room we got them in and we had to jump, actually jump on the hatch to shut it and fasten the catch and the decks was very nearly awash we were so heavy in the water. And we went back to, steamed home to Grimsby like that and that particular trip we broke the record for small boats- I’ve still got a cutting in the house somewhere, we made 10,300 or something.

Interviewer: So the feeling in the boat must have been of...

Oh it was great. When you do something like that and the previous trip I had been up talking to the managing director and he said to us, “what’s you ambition in life?” I said, “well the first one is to fill the boat up as full as you can get it” I said, “that’s always been my life ambition- to fill a boat in the fishroom as full as you can get it”. I mean boats that had done it, that was sprat fishing, that was totally different. And he said, “and what’s your other one?” I said, “I want to make over 10,000” because that seemed to be like a figure, you know, everybody dreamed of making more than 10,000, you know what I mean, that was a monster trip. As luck would, he said, what is it he said, “if you do either” he said, “if you come in with that boat full up I’ll give you bottle of whisky. If you make more than 10,000, it doesn’t have to be full up, I’ll give you a bottle of whisky”.

Well that particular trip we filled her so full you couldn’t get another fish in her- the plaice that we had put in at the finish, bearing in mind the plaice is only half an inch thick or something- the top layer of plaice in the fish-room where the winch was bolted down through the deck, there was like bolts, the bolt holes were in the fish- the marks where the fish had actually been pressed up against the bolts- you could see the threads and everythinig in the flesh of the fish.

And I went up to the office and I said, “that’s two bottles of whisky you owe me” and he said, “you can have one.” He gave us, true to his word, he gave us a bottle of whisky. But that’s the best trip. You know, I’ve made better ones, we’ve caught all that cod when I was fishing with the Camelia but that was the trip of my heart. That was, you know, all my life’s ambitions on one trip, done.

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