Busy harbour scene brings back memories

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