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.
"In the winter we get a couple of Irish boats coming in to North Shields and a few boats from Buchie"
In the winter we get a couple of Irish boats coming in to North Shields and a few boats from Buchie and that, but they’re only here because we’ve got the best prawn fishing in Europe, well, what do you call, I don’t know what you call them in French, like but the big prawns and the, but you never see them in the shop in North Shields- they’re all shipped straight away, they never put them on the market.
When I worked, they actually used to put the prawns on the market, but they used to put them in heaps, but then they found out, well, if you’ve got a thousand heaps of prawns on the market and people are only paying 12 and a half pounds a heap, which is no way enough, I mean for eight stones of prawns, I mean, things like that, that they eat nowadays, then they didn’t, you know. The Quaymaster got so sick of dumping the prawns because in them days they used to have big trap doors about four foot square at the end of the market where Quaymaster used to have these prawns worth, in today’s money millions of pounds, just shove it down the hole, “ah, that’s not selling many.”
John has 16 memories in the memorynet:
John's memories with a Change theme:
- Working on the trawlers and moving to filleting
- Changes at the Fish Quay
- Prawn fishing
- The auction
- North Shields fish market
- Buskers laying out fish
John's other memories: