Retired Whitby fishermen with more than 500 years of seafaring experience have gathered for a unique event in the town’s history.
The reunion was the first time Whitby’s foremost fishing families have been together in one place after seafood restaurant the Fisherman’s Wife organised a meal.
The group shared memories from their days working on the trawlers in the era when Whitby was one of the country’s biggest fishing ports, and compared old photographs over a fish and chip supper.
Whitby Community Choir performed for guests including 83-year-old Ronnie Frampton, who fished for more than 60 years and also volunteerd with the local RNLI lifeboat station.
“This was a brilliant day to meet everyone who’s been at sea for a long time. Our fishing days were tough at sea, but it’s in our blood. Days like today are what the town needs. I’ve had a fantastic time,” he said.
Also attending was Michael Locker, whose family own one of Whitby’s leading trawler fleets, and mayor Coun Noreen Wilson.
“A real sense of community spirit has been shown. It’s been really wonderful to listen to all the fishermen’s stories about their life at sea in Whitby, and the fish and chips were fantastic,” she said.
Organisers also invited RNLI crews and Welcome to Yorkshire’s area director Janet Deacon.
Graham Reed-Stephenson, owner of the Fisherman’s Wife, added:
“While the fishing industry has faced many challenges, and is definitely smaller than it once was, it remains at the very heart of the town and Whitby seafood is still considered some of the best in the world. We felt it was about time we celebrated the achievements of these families and thanked them for their hundreds of years of service to the town.”