John belongs to: Merchants and Traders
John was born in North Shields. His father was a fish merchant and his mother ran a second hand shop. When he left school John followed his father into working on North Shields Fish Quay. He has worked there as a fish merchant since 1957.
John was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 6 March 2005. The interview took place at Discovery Museum and lasted 49 minutes and 43 seconds.
"Then on ferry days which was on Monday, Mondays and Thursdays, that meant the ferry from Norway was coming in"
Then on ferry days which was on Monday, Mondays and Thursdays, that meant the ferry from Norway was coming in, and we bought an enormous amount of fish from Norway in them days. You would come and they would say, “the ferry’s late, get yourself away home but you’ve got to get yourself back for when the ferry comes in,” but the ferry could come in at anytime, so a lot of us would go to the pictures in the afternoon.
And we used to come to a cinema called the Albion Cinema in North Shields and you would hear somebody half way through the film shout, “the ferry’s in,” that meant it was coming through the piers, it didn’t mean it was in, so you knew you had sort of one hour, and then you would go outside the pictures an hour later and you would see all these fish wagons, what we called flat back fish wagons, and you would jump on the back of the fish wagon and you would head up towards the dock to buy, to pick the fish up and then you would start work, you know what I mean, so they do, they wouldn’t keep the fish and say, “we’ll do it tomorrow,” though, you had to get in and get it stuck and done it.
John has 16 memories in the memorynet:
John's memories with a Work theme:
- Leaving school
- Working on the trawlers
- Working on the trawlers and moving to filleting
- Fish merchant's routine
- Ferry days
- Changes at the Fish Quay
- The community on the Fish Quay
- Prawn fishing
- The auction
- Filleting fish
- John's staff
- Photograph of John
- North Shields fish market
- Buskers laying out fish