History boys to return with fishing tales

HISTORY BOYS (l to r): Dave Pearce, Dick Gillingham and Ron Baxter.
HISTORY BOYS (l to r): Dave Pearce, Dick Gillingham and Ron Baxter.

Three Fleetwood men who were involved in staging a historical musical presentation about the Fleetwood fishing industry 36 years ago are to perform similar works again next month.

Back in 1981, when the deep sea fishing industry in Fleetwood was in steep decline, local songwriter and playwright, Ron Baxter, wrote lyrics about the town’s illustrious fishing past.

David Pearce, Dick Gillingham and Ron Baxter in 1982.

David Pearce, Dick Gillingham and Ron Baxter in 1982.

Within weeks he was joined by Fleetwood journalist David Pearce and teacher Dick Gillingham. All three men had close family connections within fishing and dockland.

By April 1982 they had penned the Final Trawl – a presentation about the hardships of trawling and its impact on Fleetwood.

The show, including a cast of local actors, singers and musicians, was backed by hundreds of projected images and then anjoyed a North west tour before reaching a packed International Folklore Festival in Devon. This year a live recording of the Final Trawl, originally made in 1983, was re-released on CD and is available from Fleetwood Museum.

And now, as part of the forthcoming Fleetwood Folk and Blues Festival, some of the cast of the original Final Trawl show, will perform themed sessions called ‘Singing About The Fishing’ title - on Friday September 1 at Fleetwood Museum.

Dave and Dick will present the latest version of their Fish and Ships show at 10.45am – songs, poems and stories on Fleetwood’s fishing heyday, backed by slides. And original songwriter Ron Baxter and musical director, Ross Campbell will present Songs of The Trawl at 11.45am.

Dick said: “There is something very satisfying about performing songs to do with our town’s history.”

Tickets to these shows are now on sale from the museum, priced £5.