Fishermen friends celebrate 30 years

Richard Brewer and Craig Locker, two fishermen who will be celebrating thier 30th birthdays this month''w120115a
Richard Brewer and Craig Locker, two fishermen who will be celebrating thier 30th birthdays this month''w120115a

A PAIR of Whitby fishermen, who grew up and went through school together, both celebrate their thirtieth birthdays this week.

Richard Brewer reaches the milestone on 10 March, while Craig Locker turns 30 just four days later.

“I’m trying to acknowledge the fact that it’s happening,” said Richard, who lives on Mulgrave Road.

“It’s just crept up on me.”

The pair were fated to be friends from birth as their families have fished together for generations.

Since nursery they have both attended the same schools, then graduating and heading into fishing – the only career they have ever known.

Craig, of Kirkham Road, reserves special praise for his mate and said: “Richard’s good, he knows his stuff.

“He’s not afraid to put the time in and learn new things and that’s what you need now.”

Richard returns the sentiment and said: “Craig’s champion, we’ve never argued and we’ve always got on.”

While Richard has managed to only work one birthday in 14 years, this will be the first birthday Craig has spent ashore since he was 21.

“For me it’s just another day,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get back to sea.

“The thing is with this job, you can’t just take time off for your birthday.”

The duo are both sixth generation fishermen and have seen a huge number of changes while they have been in the industry, including Whitby’s fishing fleet diminish from 24 trawlers to just four.

While it has grown increasingly difficult to earn a living by fishing out of Whitby, the two men are still hoping to spend the next 35 years at sea.

Richard said: “The amount of times when you have gone to sea and earned just £50, and then the next week you have got two grand, you just never know.

“People say why would people flog themselves in such a manner, but it’s that sense of achievement you get when you know you’re on the fish.

“We just enjoy our way of life, even though it does get hammered by the political elite.”

Craig, who last year celebrated the birth of his first son, Reggie, added: “Every year it’s gone down, every year it’s got worse.

“You have to want to do this job, you have to have something in you that makes you want to go to sea.

“It’s hard to explain – when you go out there and you’re out at sea, even though there are these restrictions, it’s your own little world.

“You see things at sea that not many people see.”

While Richard will continue to fish on Copious, Craig and his father Howard have sold their trawler, Emulate II WY110 and purchased a small day boat that will allow them to fish a wider variety of catch and return to port each day.

Only time will tell what the future of these two fishermen, so closely linked to the future of Whitby, has in store.