We are pleased to announce that thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), we will be spending the next year discovering and sharing stories of shellfishing as part of the ‘Guardians of the Reef’ project.
Those alive today still remember the days of horse and carts transporting crab; huers on clifftops; and tarring clothes before setting to sea. They remember men who went blind in the War but still managed, with a little help, to weave the crab pots. They remember transporting their crab catches by train packed in wooden tea chests and apple barrels. They remember the hard, hand to mouth days of life in rural Devon.
Working in partnership with the South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen Association, ‘Guardians of the Reef’ will be spending time recording the memories of fishermen, many whose families have fished for generations, and transforming these into a series of digital stories, films and displays. Needless to say we are looking forward to learning about this unique and largely unrecorded part of coastal heritage.
Community buildings such as a Fishermen’s Store, Reading Room and the local pub have acted as back-drops to these stories. For this reason we will be using these buildings as hubs for events, interviews, screenings, celebrations and displays. We will also need to find our sea legs as we will be taking to the sea in a tradit
ional crabbing boat, carrying small groups of retired fishermen around the coastline to identify undocumented fishing marks and share further memories.
To kick-start the project we will be holding a series of collection events in the South Hams area, which will be an opportunity for people to come and share their memories and photographs with us, learn about the project and of course have a bit of chat over tea and cake. We will also be joined by Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum and Salcombe Museum, who will be bringing along archive photographs and objects from their collections for everyone to explore and tell us about. These will take place in a Fishermens Store on Fish Quay in Salcombe on the 16th, 17th and 18th of October 2017 from 11-3pm each day and then at the Cricket Inn in Beesands on the 13th, 14th and 15th November 2017 from 11-3pm each day. Each event is free and you can drop in at anytime.
We are also looking for volunteers who would like to get involved with the project and holding an informal training session (booking required) on the 13th November at the Cricket Inn from 3-5pm. If you’d like to find out more about this or book a FREE place on the training, then simply drop us an email or call on either-