March, Edgar J.


David & Charles, Newton Abbot, new impression, 1970. Xvi + 384 pp., frontis + 180 other photo-plates, 50 sketches by the author, & 18 ship-plans (some fldg.) D.j. 25 x 19cm. V.G.+. As a companion to the author’s work on Sailing Drifters (see No. 137 above) first published the previous year, he recalls the vast fleets of sailing trawlers which once worked out of Hull, Grimsby, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Barking, Ramsgate, Brixham and Plymouth to trawl the North Sea and British coastal waters in search of fish. In addition, sailing smacks brought home live cod for the London market. These vessels were once numbered in their thousands but by 1953 not one vessel remained working under sail. In case their story would be lost forever, March produced this comprehensive record containing a wealth of old photographs, sketches and scale plans. He describes the tough life aboard these sailing trawlers and the seamanship methods employed to work their trawls, as told to the author by old seamen who had first sailed to the fishing grounds as early as the 1870s. He examines hull construction, sailmaking and various rigs used by these vessels, providing a record in word and picture of a way of life now beyond living memory. Illustrated with 181 photographs, 50 sketches and 18 scale plans – including a complete set of drawings showing every detail of the MASTER HAND - a Lowestoft smack.

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