A handful of shrimpers, using a variety of vehicles, still follow the ebb tide across the vast expanse of Southport's sandy beach to trawl its shallow channels for brown shrimps. Potted Southport shrimps have long enjoyed a national reputation and most local residents know something of their story. Few, however, realise that beach shrimping is the rump of a once prosperous fishing industry which saw a fleet of approaching a hundred sailing smacks operating from the pierhead. Many of these boats sailed deep-sea, trawling for fish from Cardigan Bay to Barrow, and nearer home for shrimps. Southport's shallow shelving beach was also the site of extensive cockle-fishing industry.

This book details the little-known history of all the aspects of Southport's fishing industry, but it is principally the tale of local fishermen and their communities. It demonstrates how, after 1792, the growth of the new resort and residential town of Southport repeatedly pushed the fishermen inland, as their humble cottages were replaced by more expensive buildings. In addition to plotting the stages of this migration out of the town centre, there is a major emphasis on the development of the two long-lasting fishing communities at Marshside and Banks. In these detached villages, to the north of Southport, fishing was the dominant activity; the Primitive Methodist Chapels and Temperance movement were a major influence; and the natives of both villages developed, and still partially retain, a sturdy independence and individuality, which sets them apart from other suburbs of the town.

Sadly this book is now out of print, but you may be able to obtain a copy from a good second-hand bookseller.

Return to the B&AHRS Home Page