The maritime industry in the East of England was supported a wide variety of maritime trades. The Fishing Industry required a large number of skilled men and women beyond the boat builders and the fishermen who went out to sea.
The Fishing Industry created work for crafts people such as Rope Makers, Coopers who produced barrels for the fish to be packed and pickled in, Basket Makers who produced the famous Yarmouth and Lowestoft ‘crans’ and ‘swills’, and Beatsters who mended the nets.
These were highly skilled jobs, which required years within the profession before a person was considered a master of their craft.
The decline of the fishing industry in the 1960s also brought about the decline of the maritime trades connected with the industry. Some businesses managed to continue working, adapting their trade to more domestic and non-maritime industries but mass produced goods from around the world have also had a dramatic impact on these traditional hand-made crafts.
Maritime Heritage East seeks to promote and preserve these traditional skills for future generations.
Flagon covered with ropework
Heaving mallets ranging in size from 6-24 inches overall
An all wood sailmakers stitch heaver from Portugal .
Sailors performing various tasks on the rigging
Sticks with weighted heads
Two case in which sailors would keep their sailneedles in
hand dressing of hemp
Wright's Rope Walk 1770s
A heaving mallet at work
Sailmaker’s seam rubber 1989.2.1