Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sea Fest: Inshore fishing traditions gather in Sidmouth

The weekend's big event 
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Sea Fest: Bank Holiday weekend: Friday 1st May - Saturday 2nd May >>> a community event
... went off very well
Sidmouth Sea Fest | Coastal Community Celebration

Sidmouth Sea Fest | Facebook
... with a real celebration of fishing traditions
Futures Forum: Stan Bagwell's Sidmouth: Celebrating Sidmouth's fishing and maritime history
... and lots of activities
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Sidmouth Sea Fest

The Festival reminded local people of the history of this part of the coast:

An important event in Sidmouth that celebrates the past, present and future of inshore fishing in Northern Europe. Inshore fishing traditions gather in Sidmouth – read more in the digital document below: 

Inshore fishing traditions gather in Sidmouth

Sidmouth Sea Fest – 1 & 2 May | Devonshire Magazine

It also reminded Festival goers of the connections along the coast and across the North Sea:

Zeeland fishermen from around 1910

Coastal communities in Britain and across northern Europe adopted unique knitting patterns, but many have been lost to the ages.

The Dutch town of Arnemuiden has resurrected the patterns from villages across the Zeeland region and Matt Booth, the brains behind Sidmouth’s festival, is keen to follow suit.

Search for sweaters that can help rediscover fishing history - News - Sidmouth Herald

The amazing story of the Sidmouth Fishermen's Sweaters continues...
Knit pattern number 2 has been created by Anja in Holland from this photograph of another Sidmouth Fisherman, Tom Westlake, seen here in this fantastic picture circa 1950.
Our second Sidmouth knitter Gina Lusardi, created this sample of the pattern in a soft grey colour and is now knitting the sweater.
More people are contacting about us about Sidmouth's Fisher heritage and the sweaters which is brilliant. We are keen to find out if anyone knows more about colours and the likely yarns used.
Please get in touch if you have any information and also please do tell us what you think?

Sidmouth Sea Fest | Facebook

Beyond the fascinating history is the state of inshore fishing today - and tomorrow, with the exhibition from the Festival transferring to Kennaway House:

Arnemuiden Exhibition | Sidmouth Sea Fest
Zeeuwse visserstruien: Sea Fest Sidmouth
Home - Kennaway House

Sidmouth's Sea Fest has now established links with other projects:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Trawlers at Tourfish in Hastings
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Trawlers: representing UK in-shore fishing
Futures Forum: Tourfish in Hastings: 21st to 24th June: "raising awareness of inshore fishing and locally produced food - to promote the importance of these industries to local economies and responsible tourism."

The Tourfish project includes partners from Brighton, Hastings, Greenwich, Belgium and Holland:
Fantastic dinner last night welcoming... - Sidmouth Sea Fest

The Stade in Hastings is a real success story:

hastings fisherman's protection society
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The Stade 
Hastings has been a maritime centre for over a thousand years.

The shingle beach has always been called the Stade. The word dates from before the 1066 battle of Hastings and means " landing place ". The Stade was origenally a small area between today's boating lake and coach park, but the building of the 1887 groyne at Rock-a-Nore and the 1896 harbour stopped shingle moving east along the coast. The result was that the Stade then steadily grew out to seaward, providing new room for the fishing fleet and many amenities.

On the Stade is Britain's biggest fleet of beach-launched fishing boats. The boats have to be hauled out of the sea after each trip, which stops them being more than about ten metres long. This means that they can only carry small amounts of gear and travel just a few miles. As a result the fleet has always fished in an ecologically sound way.
Harbours built at Hastings have never given much shelter, so the boats have always had to be pulled up the beach. Each vessel has a shed containing an engine and winch, opperated by a " boy ashore " and tractors help push the craft into the sea, especially when the tide is low.

Harbours have been built here since the 1500s but all have had short lives. The current wall dates from 1896.
part of europes largest beach launched fishing fleet
here are many other interesting places to visit on the Stade, including Underwater World, the Shipwreck Heritage Centre, the East Hill Cliff Railway, the Lifeboat Station, the Coastguard Station and access to the Country Park.

In case you're interested in knowing more info on tin signs, stop bybeersodasports

Hastings Fisherman's Protection Society home page

The "Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability" project works with the University of Greenwich, which shows the extent of its reach:

Gifs project - home
Coastal zone governance and inshore fishing

The current system is not working...
Futures Forum: Sustainable Fishing... the EU... and the West-Country

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