Bob belongs to: The Fishermen's Mission
Bob was born in North Shields. He has worked in the Royal Navy, merchant navy and steam trawlers. Bob is retired and spends his time painting.
Bob was interviewed by Kylea Little on 8 November 2005. The interview took place at North Shields Fishermen's Mission and lasted 52 minutes and 23 seconds.
Joining the trawlers as a cook
"Well, I had a friend who, I went up to say I was going away on the trawler"
Well, I had a friend who, I went up to say I was going away on the trawler to this girl that was knocking about at the time, and she said- her mum was there at the time, and she said, “you should be finished with the sea now,” I said, “no, no,” I said, “this is where I’m going- I’ve signed on as ship’s cook,” and she said, “well, you’d better have one of these,” and she gave me a Bero cookbook- lovely lady, you know, I mean, so I went to sea with a Bero cookbook.
But the first, the first meal as you leave here, because you had to draw straws, draw stores I should say, some groceries that Wight's just here on the quay, and the meat came from another fellow called Whites up on the top in Charlotte Street, so I got the groceries aboard then the meat, and sausage and liver and kidneys. And all those things, liver and kidneys, sausage, went into a frying pan- that was the first meal those fishermen got. And it was a great big frying pan, you’ve not seen the likes of it, it was like a bin lid! And with the ship rocking and rolling as you got out there you were trying to steady, because the fat and everything, but as she rolled over to one side, there was a carbide lamp by the side, naked flame, so it swished off my hair on the side and off that side! So I had the first Mohican haircut in North Shields!
But I managed alright, I mean, when you got that out the road and you were using bread that had been baked ashore, what surprised me was that a few days later I got a shake at five o’clock in the morning and I said, “what’s up,” he said, “you’re short of bread- you better get up and bake some bread.” So I had to bake bread from the Bero cookbook and it turned out great.
Bob has 15 memories in the memorynet:
- Joining the Royal Navy
- Manning the guns
- Life after the Royal Navy
- Joining the trawlers as a cook
- The merchant navy and St. Elmo's Fire
- Landing the catch on North Shields Fish Quay
- Swimming under the ice store
- The smell of the smoke houses
- Taking a break on the Suez Canal
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 2
- Bob Cawley at San Domingo
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 1
- Individual Certificate
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 3
- Painting of Trawler and North Shields Fish Quay