Fishing boats in a photo from Jeff Cole – but where are they?

[ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]

Jeff Cole’s fishing boats shot

Jeff’s old photo of fishing boats – but where are they? My sympathy goes out
to the two guys rowing in that light weather. Just how far did they have to row
that day before they found a breeze? 

Regular readers will remember that Jeff Cole has sent some great old photos from his collection – see them here – and has now turned up this dreamy little photo from an earlier time.

But where is the fishing station? Having thought about it for a while, and discussed the issue with my pal Steve Taylor (see comments below), we think this is Hastings, and that the structure on the right wall is the old harbour wall that was destroyed many decades ago.

RX is actually the code for the port of Rye, but the Hastings boats are registered as under the Rye authority.

By the way, this useful list of port letters may be useful some time when you’re trying to identify a fishing craft’s home port.

4 thoughts on “Fishing boats in a photo from Jeff Cole – but where are they?”

  1. Gav

    Great photo! These are definitely South Coast English beach punts, almost certainly from Hastings. The boat in the foreground is of a type very like the Rebecca May – a survivor of the beach sailing fishing punt fleet(?) still to be seen by the net shops at Rock-a-Nore in Hastings. Note the very distinctive lute stern.

    I would agree that the harbour arm is probablythe dark shape visible in the background, and the foreground boat is very likely only a few yards from the beach.

    Would love to see any more similar pictures.


  2. I agree – I noticed the stern too. And I'm becoming more convinced that the code is RX rather than MX. It would make sense too for the sheltering harbour wall to be on the right, looking out to the sea and that it could easily be a view of Hastings.

    Most of Jeff's photos have been 100 years old or so and more, by the way, and I'd expect this one to be in the same age range.


  3. Thanks for the information Steve and Gavin. The others in the series to follow feature a large barge yacht, a converted wooden wall with awnings and stub masts, (a training ship I seem to have seen elsewhere I think), 2 steam ferries and an early destroyer torpedo boat at speed It could be TB1 HMS Lightning of 1877, TB66 of 1886 or similar craft []. One of those narrow low ones with a convex bow section. These pix are too low res to travel well, but if there's interest I'll see what I can do. The original pix are quite small.

    Glad to find an audience for my small collection


  4. Gavin, Jeff & Steve

    I’m gonna put my neck out here and disagree with the idea the ‘dark visible shape in the background’ is the harbour wall at Hastings. Judging the distance they are away from the object it makes it too big to be the wall. I reckon it’s Fairlight Cliffs at Pett Level and the boats are fishing off Rye Harbour. I don’t have RX125 on my database although I do have 125RX but it looks slightly fuller that the one in this photo.
    Just my two-bobs worth but a great photo Jeff.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.