How many meals did trawlermen eat a day? - Ships Nostalgia
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How many meals did trawlermen eat a day?

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  #1  
Old 10th June 2019, 12:49
xelah11 xelah11 is offline
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How many meals did trawlermen eat a day?

I'm doing research on what life was like on Grimsby and Hull trawlers in the 1970s.

How many meals a day did the crew eat? I've seen some websites say it was two, and other three. Which is it?

Also, what time would these meals be? I've read that the men simply ate when they could and weren't fishing, so did that mean the time of the meals changed daily depending on when they weren't shooting the gear?

If you have any additional information, like details of what they ate, that would be great!

Any information is helpful, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10th June 2019, 15:22
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Originally Posted by xelah11 View Post
I'm doing research on what life was like on Grimsby and Hull trawlers in the 1970s.

How many meals a day did the crew eat? I've seen some websites say it was two, and other three. Which is it?

Also, what time would these meals be? I've read that the men simply ate when they could and weren't fishing, so did that mean the time of the meals changed daily depending on when they weren't shooting the gear?

If you have any additional information, like details of what they ate, that would be great!

Any information is helpful, thanks!
Cannot help with 1970's, but in 1951 sailing on a 1914 built trawler, she had no food or cargo freezer facilities. We loaded 20 tons of crystalised ice into fish hold prior sailing, this was to be used to cover fish once we reached the fishing grounds 3 - 4 days from Hull. Normal fare outbound was eggs/bacon breakfast, mid day meat stew, late meal meat and veg, we were on watches. Once the first haul had come aboard then it was fish, fish, fish, until getting back to Hull. Once fishing there were no set meal times, cook would be on and stop on, with us hoping that we would some respite between end of gutting and next haul. If the fishing was good then skippers tried to haul-in to give their crews as regular meals as possible under difficult conditions. Different trawlers, different skippers, different weather, different fish hauls (good/bad) dictated the intervals of how you were fed. The veg was mainly potatoes as other veg soon went bad in Arctic conditions. The most modern trawler I sailed on in the 50's was built in 1936 and she had freezer for crew victuals, so we had bread and veg much longer into the voyage, but the cook on the 1914 trawler somehow managed to bake bread on our bucking bronco.

Incidentally the 20 tons of ice formed into one solid block in less than 24 hours out of Hull, this was actuated by pounding into head seas and the vibration from the main engine. So after the first day out, the youngest (me) were put down the hold, battened down and we started our chopping to have some ice ready for the trays.

Not so much happy days, but you grew up quick

Last edited by seaman38; 10th June 2019 at 15:24.. Reason: old age
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  #3  
Old 11th June 2019, 04:52
xelah11 xelah11 is offline
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Thank you! This is very helpful!

What do you mean by "we were on watches"?
Also, if the fish haul is bad, does that mean the crew work harder and shoot the gear more often?

Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 11th June 2019, 08:27
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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As a rough guide breakfast was served in your Stateroom, luncheon was in the Humber Buffet on deck 4, afternoon tea was also served in the Humber. Dinner was always taken in the Main Dining Room where the Hessle dress code was strictly enforced.

I will recommend, highly, a book by William Mitford called "Lovely She Goes".

A visit to Hull and the Museum Trawler, "Arctic Corsair" and a chat with the Guides, who were crew, would be helpful.
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  #5  
Old 11th June 2019, 08:43
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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A little bit cruel, but I suspect true on the wet fishers: However the facorty trawlers may be a little more organised, But what lovely fish eaten? not to be sold on the market?
Was the cook from the MN Training pud school from Liverpool, and was It fish instead of all those mutton dishes? which is worse???
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  #6  
Old 11th June 2019, 09:15
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelah11 View Post
Thank you! This is very helpful!

What do you mean by "we were on watches"?
Also, if the fish haul is bad, does that mean the crew work harder and shoot the gear more often?

Thanks again!
I will try and give you some serious answers from my time on trawlers, things may have changed in the 1970's the era you are researching as I left in the 1950's and joined the MN.

Watches on the way to and from the fishing grounds we worked six hours on and six hours off on bridge and engineroom duties. Deckhands usually worked daytime getting all gear in good working order, there was a lot of it, nets, bobbins, wires, blocks etc. The 1914 trawler I was on was coal fired, so deck hands also assisted the firemen/stokers down below when outward and homeward bound.

Depending on size of trawler the crew was 20/22 souls. I am talking sidewinder trawlers as opposed to stern trawlers as these didn't exist in my era.

When the fishing is poor and you get a poor haul, it is easier physically for the crew but financially harder, as you have a limited time to spend on the fishing grounds 18 -22 days depending upon your bunker capacity and consumption, dictated by the weather endured.

Trawler crews loved hard work, the harder the better, as it meant the fishing was good and therefore the financial rewards better, as the better the catch, the better the profit, if the market was right and not too many trawlers arrived home at the same time.

There are many books written by people who have served on trawlers, I would ignore sarcastic comments, as not everyone has actual experience, but I believe it is for us oldies to help where we can and whilst we can still relay the memories or knowledge, whilst we are able, rather than discourage. One of the blessings of old age is that you can remember what happened nearly 70 years ago, but alas find it hard to remember what happened yesterday.

Last edited by seaman38; 11th June 2019 at 09:17..
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  #7  
Old 13th June 2019, 07:54
Anchorman Anchorman is offline  
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This is meals on the Salveson factory trawlers out of Immingham late 50s early 60s.
Fairtry 3.
Meal Times
0600-0800
1100-1300
1700-1900
2300-0100 (black pan type meal)
Meals taken either before or after shooting/hauling
Midday & Midnight crew change
12 hour watchworking
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  #8  
Old 13th June 2019, 08:48
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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#7 very interesting was that meal schedule on the mother factory ship or the actual trawlers, as I am not aware that in Icelandic waters, Barents Sea etc that we ever shot and hauled to a timetable. From recollection, memory may be wrong, I recall that factory ships sailed in different waters, more equatorial than Arctic with the weather being much more clement and probably allowing a number of trawlers to feed the mother vessel with their catch at regular intervals and thus engendering a more scheduled life aboard the feeder vessels.
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  #9  
Old 13th June 2019, 08:53
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Better feeders than Hogarths.
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  #10  
Old 13th June 2019, 15:36
Anchorman Anchorman is offline  
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Originally Posted by seaman38 View Post
#7 very interesting was that meal schedule on the mother factory ship or the actual trawlers, as I am not aware that in Icelandic waters, Barents Sea etc that we ever shot and hauled to a timetable. From recollection, memory may be wrong, I recall that factory ships sailed in different waters, more equatorial than Arctic with the weather being much more clement and probably allowing a number of trawlers to feed the mother vessel with their catch at regular intervals and thus engendering a more scheduled life aboard the feeder vessels.
The FAIRTRY3 was a factory stern trawler. All the fish was processed frozen and boxed on board. She fished the Grand Banks and Greenland waters. My brother did 7 years on her and gave me the info. Apparently they had 2 crews of factory workers and deck crew working 12 hour watches. If the vessel was hauling or shooting that took priority over meals. The chief steward or 2nd steward cooked the midnight meal in turns.
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  #11  
Old 14th June 2019, 12:00
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Don't forget the pan of "shackles" bubbling away on the stove - sort of stock pot with everything chucked into it. Always there to scoop a mugful out of - great.

Re #4 . I read that book "Lovely She Goes" - supposed to be some sort of universal fisherman jargon but I never met anyone in Grimsby or Hull who'd ever heard the term until the book came out.

John T
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  #12  
Old 14th June 2019, 17:28
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post

Re #4 . I read that book "Lovely She Goes" - supposed to be some sort of universal fisherman jargon but I never met anyone in Grimsby or Hull who'd ever heard the term until the book came out.

John T
Nor me, fishing, deep sea and coasting. Perhaps Errol Flynn used it when chasing Maureen O'Hara
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  #13  
Old 14th June 2019, 20:27
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spongebob spongebob is offline
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Nor me, fishing, deep sea and coasting. Perhaps Errol Flynn used it when chasing Maureen O'Hara
Speaking of whom , I have just come home from a couple of nights at Lake Taupo where the once named Ketch "Barbary Coast " bobs up and down at its anchorage . Once owned by Errol Flynn , after he won it in a card game .
Its ageing planks could well confirm those stories about Maureen.

Did those trawler men ever eat fish at sea, a nice fillit of battered Haddock would surely be attractive !

Bob
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  #14  
Old 14th June 2019, 23:31
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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.

Did those trawler men ever eat fish at sea, a nice fillit of battered Haddock would surely be attractive !

Bob
See #2 Bob, on that 1914 trawler after the first 4 days we ate nothing but fish for next 20/24 days, nearly the same on every trawler in '50's, didn't know how lucky I'd been, as never ate fish for years after leaving trawlers, the cook had the pick of the catch, not that he bothered to come on deck, as everything we took him was the best.

Cannot recall ever eating fried battered fish on trawlers. as pans of boiling fat are the last thing you'd want on a bucking bronco. Don't even think deep fat friers, the stoves were coal powered.
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  #15  
Old 15th June 2019, 00:11
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Sorry S38 , understand boiling dripping is not welcome on any bucking ship let alone a trawler . Have to settle for poached Cod , I've paid big money for a bit of so cooked South Island blue cod once or twice .

Bob
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