Diary of a Cornish Fisherman: Newquay, 1962–1967
Life in a Cornish fishing community in 1960s is the subject of this absorbing memoir, told in a style that is warm, engaging, humorous and packed full of incident. A book that will appeal to anyone who has gone to sea or wishes that they had. Generously illustrated, complete with a glossary of nautical and fishing terms, it doesn’t just introduce us to the life of the seafarer; it invites us in. More
Life in a Cornish fishing community in 1960s is the subject of this absorbing memoir, told in a style that is warm, engaging, humorous and packed full of incident.
Trevor Simpson started keeping a diary, "to record the weather and the numbers of crawfish and lobsters we caught. Basically that, together with the areas we fished, was supposed to be all of it. It just kind of grew then so that before very long, I was adding scraps of information about what was happening to other fishermen besides us. As the year advanced, more and more details were added. Snatches of conversations were included and sometimes stories recounted to us by other people, were faithfully written up."
The diary covers the years 1962 to 1967, just up to the point when the author decides to move to Ireland, thus beginning a new, as yet untold chapter in the story. The diary itself remained in a box in an attic for forty years, before being taken out and dusted off and offered up for public consumption.
"Just reading through it has triggered so many memories. Suddenly, I am 'down harbour' again and standing on the yellow sand. The sun is baking the seaweed on the harbour wall and it smells good. The boats are all made of wood and smartly painted. As the tide floods into the harbour, the boats come afloat. The crews slip their moorings and the boats head out to sea, their mizzen sails are barked canvas, red-brown in colour. Ropes are made of manila or sisal. The skippers and the crewmen are young and strong. The diary shines a light on those times and on our working lives."
This is a book that will appeal to anyone who has gone to sea or wishes that they had. Generously illustrated, complete with a glossary of nautical and fishing terms, it doesn’t just introduce us to the life of the seafarer; it invites the reader in.
Trevor Simpson was born in England. He joined the Royal Navy in 1947, aged just 16, enabling him to travel the world. Upon leaving the Navy, in 1956, he took numerous jobs, before finding himself working as Head Lifeguard in the town of Newquay in Cornwall. From there, he got himself aboard a fishing vessel.
Diary of a Cornish Fisherman recounts the years he spent working as a seafisherman, first in partnership, later as skipper of his own boat. As the Diary also records, he made a decision to move to Ireland towards the end of the decade. In Ireland, he continued to ply his trade as a seafisherman. He still lives in Ireland and though he has since retired, he still takes to the sea occasionally.
In addition to this volume of memoir, he also writes poetry, which has been published in various media.
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