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Photograph of Peter Fairbairn

Peter Fairbairn

Peter belongs to: Cullercoats RNLI

Peter was born in Simpson Street in Cullercoats. From an early age he wanted to be a fisherman and lifeboatman. Peter fished from a coble, herring drifters and trawlers.

Peter was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 24 November 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's living room and lasted 1 hour, 4 minutes and 38 seconds.

Photograph of Peter Fairbairn
Photograph of Peter Fairbairn


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"Depends on the cook. You get good cooks, and there were good cooks, and it used to be the cook that held the crew together"

Depends on the cook. You get good cooks, and there were good cooks, and it used to be the cook that held the crew together. If you’ve got a good cook that gave you good grub you’d stop in the boat, you know, but get a bad cook and he didn’t keep that crew very long.

Well, every morning, was fish. Fried fish, bar a Sunday, and you’d get bacon and eggs. But every morning from that, it’s, you used to get fish. In the drifters, it was always herring, every day, herring. And you used to get a three course dinner, like lunch, we’d call it dinner. You used to get soup, you know what I mean, meat dinner, and either a duff or something like that, you know, a currant steam pudding, custard and then at tea time it would be what was left over fried up off the dinner, and then suppertime, well, toast, or something, you know, you’ve come to the end of the day, you know.

The best meal was what you used to make yourself at three o’clock in the morning- you used to, a slice of toast and cheese and sweet cup of tea.

But the drifters, they were very sparse with what you ate there because everybody who was on a share. You just couldn’t pick what you wanted out of the pond, you know and give that to the cook, you know.

But you used to get cooks that were great fish fryers, you know, they showed fish fryers up ashore. And you only had a gallery, what, eight foot by six foot, something like that, and everything was done on a coal stove in them days, but they used to…good fish. Mind you, you got other cooks that could make a lemon sole taste like bloody sticks.

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Living Conditions | Work

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