This sewer pipe was just like shopping at Marks and Spencer’s – nothing but the best and all free.
The old sewer pipe ran straight alongside the Old Lloyds Hailing Station Jetty that was next to North Shields Lifeboat Station. Now in these days you name it and there was a good chance it came out of this pipe at one time or another. As it ran straight into the Tyne you had the likes of the good old human waste followed by discarded food, fish guts, blood, old dead animals etc, etc, so to fish this sewer pipe was just like shopping at Marks and Spencer’s – nothing but the best and all free.
Now one day me and the lads decided to make ourselves a homemade trawl net and do a bit of fishing from the jetty. On the Fish Quay next door everything you needed was lying around, from old netting to ropes to lashing twine with floats and lead line, so if we went scavenging and got all the gear we needed to build a little trawl. It did not take more than a couple of hours and the job was complete and ready for a test run. The only drawback now was the fact that the tide was coming in, so we had to wait till the next morning as you needed an ebbing tide for it to work.
Next day we made our way round to the jetty end in a rowing boat we had borrowed from one of the men folk. Lining up with the jetty we tied the two ropes we would be using as trawl warps onto the jetty and started to play out the rest of the rope, about 60 feet in length. Once the rope was at full stretch we then played the front of the net out and once we came to the end waited until it was tight then dropped it over, making sure that it was open when it dropped. Last, we rowed back to the jetty and two of us pulled the net in, with the ebbing tide keeping it open.