Skip to main content

DISTANT WATER - Stories from Grimsby's Fishing Fleet

There are times in the writing process when there’s nothing else for it but to stop everything else and immerse yourself in the work. And sometimes the work itself demands that you stop and think. The book in question is Distant Water – Stories from Grimsby’s Fishing Fleet – due to be published in May.
This is my third time out working on heritage publications as co-author, researcher and editor. Mainly, as in this case, the books work with the words, voices and experiences of those who lived through a part of Britain’s industrial past to tell their story and that of the industry.
The last few weeks I’ve got down to  the nitty-gritty of transcripts and sound files of forty separate conversations with (mainly) men involved in Grimsby’s long-gone fishing industry. The majority are proud to have been fisherman, deck hands doing the heavy work on ships in the worst North Sea conditions. It’s no secret, when the industry was at its height the mortality rate for fishermen was 14 times that of coal mining.
We’re in Ken Loach territory here. For the best part of 150 years, the fishing industry operated on the fringes of society, unchecked by the niceties of a safe workplace and frequently without the guarantee of a fair day’s pay. This story this sits firmly on the shelf alongside Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. You don’t have to look hard to see where the profits went – just take a short walk around the area of Grimsby that used to boast a thriving industry. When the trawler owners shipped out in the mid-80s, they took their cash with them – more than £1m from the government and whatever they got from selling ships on for scrap or to oil companies as standby vessels. Fishermen, always classed as casual labour and therefore, expendable, received nothing. For many, the fight for compensation goes on.
As the book comes together in the few weeks, the words of fishermen will tell their own stories. Some say, that’s just the way it was, and, it was all part of the job. But that doesn’t make it right.
Distant Water by Nick Triplow, Tina Bramhill and Sophie James is published by North Wall Publishing on the 5th  May 2011. An accompanying exhibition will be on display at Grimsby's Fishing Heritage Centre throughout May and June.


  1. Have just sent a copy of "The Women they left behind" to my friend who moved to the Lake District to say thank you for a recent visit. Will be buying this one for me and one for my mum. Best of luck with sales x


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

PULP! THE CLASSICS - The Hound of the Baskervilles

You'll be familiar with the story - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's super sleuth Holmes goes down to the Moors in search of the legendary hound. The brilliantly inventive Moffatt and Gattiss BBC version notwithstanding, the story first found its way into the public imagination in serialised form in the Strand Magazine in 1901/02. It was the third of four Holmes novels written by Conan Doyle and stands the test of time as a great crime novel in its own right. 'Murder ... Mystery ... Walkies!' Now a re-published edition from Pulp! The Classics, an imprint of Oldcastle books, features a vivid retro pulp cover with artwork by David Mann, tongue in cheek taglines and  orange sprayed coloured page edges. Each book in the series re-prints the complete original text and The Hound of the Baskervilles is a great addition. Perfect for Holmes completists, crime fiction fans and  lovers of pulp art, it takes its place alongside The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Tess …

FACE VALUE: Northern Crime Short Story Winner/FRANK'S WILD YEARS: New Edition/TED LEWIS: Update

"From rural noir to urban terror, high concept drama to blunt force trauma, Moth Publishing presents its first collection of prize-winning short stories." 2015 is about to end with a result. My story Face Value is a winner in the inaugural Northern Crime Short Story Competition. With the winners' anthology released on Monday 7 December in paperback and E-book, it's a great way to sign off after a hard-working but not always the most productive of writing years. I'm especially pleased Face Value made the grade. This week also sees the publication of a new edition of Frank's Wild Years. I'm grateful to publisher, Caffeine Nights, for the opportunity to put right a few of the things which have bugged me since it was originally let loose on the world, and for continuing to show faith in the book. The altogether sharper Frank's Wild Years will be available online, in bookshops and at WH Smiths travel stores from 3 December. This year I made a conscious deci…

The Jack Carter novels by Ted Lewis - Reissued by Syndicate Books

It's been a long time coming, but Syndicate Books is about to re-publish the three Ted Lewis novels featuring Jack Carter. The first, originally published as Jack's Return Home in 1970, was later re-titled Carter, then Get Carter, in the wake of the 1971 film, adapted from Lewis's novel and directed by Mike Hodges. Notably, the film substituted Newcastle for Scunthorpe, Lewis's unnamed 'frontier town'. With Carter dead at the end of the movie, Lewis returned to his main character in 1974 and 1977 for the prequels Jack Carter's Law (retitled Jack Carter and the Law in the USA) and Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon. Syndicate has created a must-have package with great design and excellent layout. I was pleased to contribute a biographical afterword for Mafia Pigeon - the novel which, in essence, brings the story to the point at which Get Carter begins. Lewis's style - his prose is unremittingly bleak and brutal - has influenced generations of crime authors, …