How It Used To Be

When men were men and fish were things that swam in the sea!





LEFT – 1979 The 3rd International Shore Championship.
The scene on Hawthorne beach "eyeball to eyeball" as the caption said. The angler nearest us is a guy called Peter Collins
MIDDLE – This is what made all of the Durham Colliery beaches famous.
Coal waste tipped into the sea all along the coast "coloured" the water. These beaches, like the famous Blast at Seaham, built a well deserved reputation on their ability to produce fish during daylight. The photo shows the old "Flight" at Easington Colliery, later replaced by a high-tec conveyor which could unload the waste even more efficiently.
RIGHT – Remember these?
A bell fastened to the tip of your rod to indicate a bite. Fish bites -bell rings. Fastened either by a metal clip or clothes peg (the type with a spring in it). I wonder how many lie on the sea bed after flying off during a cast after the angler had forgotten to take it off

Blackhall Beach

Just a reminiscence of fishing Blackhall in the 40`s and early 50`s with a greenheart rod, a 6 inch Scarborough reel made by Darkie Britten of South Bank, cutty hunk line and 6oz sinkers made of iron on the blast furnaces at Cargo Fleet works where I worked at that time. Favourite time was late autumn, fishing the flood, fires burning on the sea coal (which was feet deep at that time), in fact some firm from Hartlepool used to reclaim it and sell it door to door. Dig your bait in the mouth of the Tees, lug and rag, all you needed then was a small bottle of paraffin and a few sticks to start your fire and you were to experience one of life’s pleasures which sadly has now gone. In the mackerel season I have seen colliers catch them/fillet them/and fry them on the beach, the smell alone was something to remember. Now, I am afraid, the collier has, like our fish, decreased in number and the world is the poorer for it. My best fish, as I remember, from almost fifty years ago was a smidgen under 18lbs. Great times and pleasant memories, they can never take them away.

Tight lines,
Ray Wilson (Geordie living in Wales)

LEFT – A young Jim Dobie Picks up yet another first place in a competition.
MIDDLE – John Barber of North Blyth SAC With a club record cod of 26lb 4oz. Note the reel – A large Scarborough. And the clothing – definately not the same as the modern waterproofs etc but I bet these guys stood out in colder weather than we do.
RIGHT – And another trophy for Jim receiving the Evening Chronicle Rose Bowl from George Maxwell company secretary of the Evening Chronicle and Journal. Winning catch 9-3-0, sept 1980.

LEFT – Star prize a Portable TV?? Mind you the entry money was only 50p. Optional heaviest fish was 20p Teams (Pairs) was 30p
RIGHT – How times change
1 year on and we now have a have a colour poster – still got the TV as top prize, but its now going to cost you 70p
to win it. Optional heaviest fish went up to 30p and Teams up to 40p. Inflation!!!!!

LEFT – Almost complete! Roker pier under construction. Circa 1903
MIDDLE – A young Alan Charlton – WITH TROPHIES!!!!! Notice the scarborough rod, like a cloths prop, have actually still got it in the bedroom plus two scarboroughs 6" and 7", frightened to use them now probably break my fingers.
RIGHT – Feb 11th 1972 Tynemouth A.C. presention night Left to right – Club Champion George Yates, Runner Up Brian Smith, Lady champion Mrs Dorothy Long, Variety plate Winner Junior Robert Lilley Charles Martin, Chairman  Junior champion Ian White.

Top Row (above): Tynemouth A.C. held their very first pier competition on 6th July 1957, The angler pointing in the far left photo is none other than the late great Dave Higgins.

Bottom Row (above): The first Tynemouth British Allcomers Championship took place on March 1st 1959. 500 anglers fished between Tynemouth pier and Watts Slope Whitley Bay, 29 fish were weighed in for 32lb.1st prize was a double built cane rod with another 25 prizes, entry 2s 6d. Left:- left to right 1st Mr R Clish Sunderland h/f 5-8-0, 2nd Mr T O. Todd, Ashington (2) 2-14-12, 3rd T Porter , Ryhope 2-7-12 & 4th J Hope, Cullercoats, (no weight) Right:- Three anglers fishing Sharpness Point l to r G Jamieson (Newbiggin) W Halligan (Blyth) J Maughan (Newbiggin)
Centre:-Marjorie Brough of Tynemouth.

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