Cobles of the North East of England

Cobles of the North East of England Cobles of the North East of England Cobles of the North East of England

Cobles; a double-ended coble, and oar details

As a soft southern keyboard-tapping desk jockey, I can get chilled just going to buy groceries at Tesco’s. So naturally there are some particularly tough communities that I feel bound to admire, and one of these groups is fishing communities.

Tonight, therefore, I’m going to post some links to material about fishermen working from cobles along the English North-East coast, including Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland where after a tide’s fishing the lads had to get back to their fishing station against the prevailing winds, no matter how bad the weather for there was no other shelter, and then had to land them on open beaches often in surf.

It hardly needs to be said that these tough conditions bred some pretty special seamen, and some very special boats. So here are some links about the boats, including some written and spoken memories from the people who use them.

An excellent set of National Lottery-funded pages from the Tyne & Wear Museums.

Coble drawing

The Coble & Keelboat Society.

Tradboat on cobles.

Wikipedia on cobles.

Cobles in H Warington-Smyth’s Mast & Sail in Europe and Asia.

This model of the Grace Darling in the National Maritime Museum clearly shows the coble’s unusual deep bows, flat stern and striking powder-horn sheerline.

Filey’s Coble Preservation Society restores the Margaret.

Peter Weightman talking about cobles at Memorynet.

Cobles at Seaham.

John Tickner’s photos of cobles.

Memories of cobles at Craster on the Northumberland coast.

Wally Simpkin on cobles.

Filey memories of cobles.

Seaham memories of cobles (appears below the Science Museum description of the boats).

South West Maritime History Society on cobles.

Let’s not forget our earlier post on those good folks of the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society and their magnificent sailing coble The Three Brothers.

Finally, here’s a painting of Whitby Harbour at dawn, which is still a great place to see cobles.

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2 thoughts on “Cobles of the North East of England”

  1. I live on the N. Yorks coast – there used to be about 35 cobles that fished from Runswick alone. There are tales of men getting caught out in northerly storns and rowing for hours to keep from being swept into the cliffs, and getting into port with the bones of their hands showing through the flesh.

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