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

The Fishermen's Mission

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"To me itís very important, and to most fishermen"

To me itís very important, and to most fishermen. Iím not in, Iím not what you would call a religious person, I donít go to church every Sunday, I donít, you know, pursue religion, in another sense I am a religious person. The Superintendent of the Mission is my priest, if you like. When I die, which happens to us all eventually, I want the mission man, whoever it may be, whether itís Paul or whoever, I want him to conduct the service because heís my priest. End of story.

You can come here, thereís a library here if I want a book to read I can borrow a book, if I want to just sit in the mission and have a cup of tea I can sit in the mission and have a cup of tea, whatever. The mission is our church, itís our meeting hall, itís our cafť and also Paul is there, heís my financial adviser, if you like, when Iíve had financial difficulties, which has happened on a couple of occasions, the mission man is there to help-heís helped us out financially on a couple of times.

One instant that comes to mind- the wife had, we had just collected our benefits, and we walked in here and the wife didnít get to the counter and this person, shall we say, I had to correct myself there, pinched her handbag with all our money in and ran out and jumped in the car. They must have followed us all the way from the post office. Straight away the mission man was there and he gave us money to see us through until we could get to the bank because it was about this time of day when then the bank shut at two oíclock on a Friday. So itís really everything to us, the Mission.

If we want to just sit and have a- this here where we are is the chapel, as you can see by the plaques on the wall and that, this can be immediately converted to a meeting hall- the fishermen used to have their meetings here- they used to put all these chairs out, and all used to sit, and the altar and everything would be taken away and the chairman of the Association and the secretary and whoever else was on the committee would sit up there and weíd have our meeting. As soon as the meeting was over, it would be converted back to the chapel. So the mission is everything- itís our church, itís our meeting hall, like I say, itís our restaurant- itís everything. Itís... the mission is a very important part of fishing families.

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Community | Lifestyles | The North East

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