Monday, 9 January 2017

A question for local fishermen. What on earth in lives of smack boys and fishermen is bucketing?

I have been proof reading our reprint of “Smacks to Steamers: A History of the Ramsgate Fishing Industry 1850 – 1920” by Clive Powell, this was first published by Ramsgate Maritime Museum in the 1980s and the idea is to put it into a digital file so we can print it as one of our local history publications on behalf of the museum.

Back and forth between the internet and various nautical books in my bookshop tying to make sure that everything makes sense. A fairly demanding task and after a whole working day of it my mind is full of information about the history of our local fishing industry. 

This sentence however has defeated me:- “Fishing on a large scale was more economically viable, but the cost to men’s lives as the capacity of smacks increased along with the dangers of bucketting, also stresses the high social cost of nineteenth century fishing.”

Some of the works I have consulted are pretty obscure but no bucketting, so any thoughts on this one would be helpful. It’s either an error in the original text or relates to some aspect of sea fishing, probably trawling that I am not familiar with.

Update. I now have the solution to bucketting, having slept on it and considered it had to related one of the most dangerous aspects of commercial boat fishing, I reread the most likely parts of the book.

Bucketting is transferring the boxes of caught fish from one fishing smack to another, while at sea, using a rowing boat. This was done when the smacks stayed at sea and used one smack as a carrier to take the fish ashore to sell.   

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