I first came down from London in 1991 to document the Hastings fishing community. Four of those portraits now hang in the Hastings Fishermen’s Museum and were published in the book Hastings Today. Little did I realise then that several years later we would move down to Hastings.
Since moving to Hastings, I’ve been working closely with the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society (HFPS), updating my earlier images, with the emphasis on the family connections. I have also documented the women within the fishing community, who are rarely recognised for their tireless work on shore, work that helps keep the Hastings fishing industry alive and thriving.
Fishing is a family business in Hastings. This beach-launched fishing fleet has been here for almost a thousand years. But the industry that has been the mainstay of this East Sussex coastal town may possibly come to an end. A combination of severe economic, political and environmental reasons may possibly claim its existence.
For me, documenting the Hastings fishing community has been a true labour of love. Even with the publication of Generations and Sea Dogs, I will continue taking photos of our fishing community. As a Thank You for allowing me to take their photos and as a commitment to helping this beleaguered industry, I will make a contribution from the profits of the sale Generations and Sea Dogs to the Fishermen’s Protection Society.