Vast pride throughout the years in port’s heritage

Dockers unloading a catch of fish at Fleetwood dock, in 1989
Dockers unloading a catch of fish at Fleetwood dock, in 1989

For decades, Fleetwood was one of the UK’s main fishing ports.

And its fishing heritage is something which, over the years, the town’s residents have remained fiercely proud of.

The tradition of eating fish on Fridays was especially important at Easter and this meant a busy time for Fleetwood's fishing fleet and fish market. On the first day of the Holy Week fish rush in 1952 the fish market's labour force landed 79,000 stone of fish of the 119,000 stone brought to the port by 20 trawlers.

The tradition of eating fish on Fridays was especially important at Easter and this meant a busy time for Fleetwood's fishing fleet and fish market. On the first day of the Holy Week fish rush in 1952 the fish market's labour force landed 79,000 stone of fish of the 119,000 stone brought to the port by 20 trawlers.

Pictured here are archive photographs from days gone-by, when Fleetwood was busy and bustling with the fishing industry.

Easter harvest is shown on two of the snaps – one from 1989, which shows workers unloading fish onto the docks and one from April 1952.

The tradition of eating fish on Fridays was especially important at Easter and this meant a busy time for Fleetwood’s fishing fleet and fish market.

On the first day of the Holy Week fish rush in 1952, the fish market’s labour force landed 79,000 stone of fish of the 119,000 stone brought to the port by 20 trawlers.

The fish dock in the days of coal and steam.

The fish dock in the days of coal and steam.

Fleetwood Docks can be seen bustling with trawlers back in the late 1940s – well before the industry fell into decline. All the fishing vessels shown are old coal-burning steam trawlers, just before the advent of motor vessels.

Dockers are pictured sorting fish on Fleetwood Docks, using the conveyor system installed in the Seventies.

From the late 1960s onwards, and the first of the cod wars at Iceland, Fleetwood’s distant-water fleet, like its counterparts at other leading trawler ports in the UK, experienced rapid decline, before the inshore fleet followed a similar downward spiral. The last deep sea trawler left the town in 1982.

Fish processing is still a big industry in the town, with fish caught from other areas – mainly Scotland, brought into the town by road and prepared in Fleetwood for markets all over Britain and abroad. The fish industry generates around £135m a year.

Fleetwood docks bustling with trawlers back in the late 1940s

Fleetwood docks bustling with trawlers back in the late 1940s

Dockers sorting fish on Fleetwood docks using the conveyor system installed in the Seventies

Dockers sorting fish on Fleetwood docks using the conveyor system installed in the Seventies