SCARBOROUGH'S fishing fleet has undeniably shrunk considerably in recent times – but it certainly doesn't lack variety in one aspect at the moment.
That aspect is the ports of registry
of the fishing vessels operating
from the harbour.
A fishing boat's registration is
painted on its hull – a number,
preceded by a letter or two letters
which denote the port where it is
Scarborough, whose letters are
SH, is still the most heavily represented
port in the fleet, Old Town
resident and former fisherman
Mick Bayes has pointed out to me.
There are eight SH registrations
in the fleet – seven of them
cobles, plus a trawler which,
though registered at
Scarborough Harbour and
working from it, is actually crewed
by Bridlington men.
Other registration letters currently
to be seen on boats at the
harbour, and the ports to which
they belong, are: BH – Blyth, CO –
Caernarvon, E – Exeter, FH –
Falmouth, FY – Fowey, FR
Fraserburgh, GY – Grimsby, NS –
North Shields, OB – Oban, PD –
Peterhead, RX – Rye, SM –
Shoreham,WH –Weymouth,WY –
Whitby and YH – Yarmouth.
I would guess there have never
been so many different ports of
registry represented by working
craft in the harbour since at least
the times of the herring season.
And maybe since those long-ago
times when the herring season
saw the harbour so busy it was
said to have been possible to walk
from pier to pier across boats jampacked
together like sardines in a