Preserving our heritage for future generations.
The Bosun’s Watch was written following the untimely death of my uncle, Peter Ince. A fisherman for most of his life he was forced out of the industry by a knee injury.
With his passing I came to the realisation that all the people with first hand knowledge of the Fleetwood fishing industry would soon be all gone and I didn’t want their wealth of knowledge and history to pass unrecorded.
After running the site for some time I made the decision to align it with Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust with the aim of preserving our heritage for future generations.
The purpose of this site, therefore, is to present as full a picture of the industry as possible. To this end we are including vessels under Fleetwood ownership that did not fish from the port as well as vessels that did fish from Fleetwood but had no Fleetwood owners. Also included are wartime and seasonal visitors.
Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust was established in 1999 by a group of local people, almost all of who have a seafaring background in various maritime traditions, having seen service in the fishing industry, merchant marine or the Royal Navy.
Their desire was to put their combined time and effort into providing Fleetwood with an accurate and exhaustive portrayal of our maritime history.
Since then they have been conducting exhaustive research into many aspects of Fleetwood’s maritime past, a large percentage of which has never before been generally known.
Many ports across the UK now celebrate their fishing history with festivals. Sadly it seems that Fleetwood is intent on burying it. For the sake of all the men who sailed down the Wyre and never returned, we do not intend to let that happen.
As far as fishing is concerned, the list of lost vessels is horrendous. Many vessels cleared Wyre Light and were never heard of again, over 400 of them. Some made the ultimate sacrifice in wartime while others were lost to ill-fortune or the weather, whilst others were lost after moving to other ports but they all cleared Wyre Light at one time.
There is an old saying, “The price of fish is mens’ lives”. Sadly, and this is true of Fleetwood.