Monday, 16 June 2008

Mudhorse fishermen

According to Matthew Fort in the Guardian, Adrian Sellick is not the last of the mudhorse fishermen: he is passing on his skills to his children. Here he is, setting off across Bridgwater Bay in Somerset, pushing his sledge-like barrow, or barrow-like sledge, across two miles of mud flats with a load of buckets and nets. When he gets to the place where he set his nets, he collects his catch, replaces any damaged nets and then pushes the mudhorse two miles back to land. Helped by his father, he sells whatever he has caught from a shack beside the road to the beach.
Clearly, this requires fitness, strength, detailed knowledge of the mudflats and the ways of fish, and also courage, for it would be easy to get cut off by the tide. It is good to know that there are still Englishmen who choose to make what must be a very modest living in such a hard way.

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