Secret Catch fishing families was a 6 month cross generational project, funded by Heritage Lottery, and run by Community Stuff, to find out about the fishing families in Eastbourne. It took place at Causeway School as an after school activity. We met once a week. Young people received heritage training from Heritage Eastbourne in Oral History, Object handling, and Curating.
We then held oral history sessions with three senior members of our community. Brian Allchorn, sadly now deceased, the last pleasure boatman of Eastbourne, Ted Hide, from a local fishing family, author and historian, and Paul Metcalfe OBE,who was involved with the RNLI at Eastbourne for more than 30 years.
We went on two trips, one to the site of the ancient fishing Stade (station), which was in the area of the ice cream parlor Fusciardis, and the other to the fresh fish shop, current fishing station and Allchorn renovation project of the last pleasure boat in Eastbourne.
We explored some of Ted Hide’s collection of fishing memorabilia to learn more about life as a a fishing family in Eastbourne. We learned of womens’ role, and the links between fishing families and lifeboat men. Students put together family trees for the Allchorn and Hide families.
We then put together a Heritage exhibition to show all that we had learnt, and the students learnt about display do’s and don’ts. The show was held at Causeway School Gallery, was officially opened by Jonathon Seaman Heritage Manager for Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council. It was a great success, please see below for images and further information about the project.
We would like to thank heritage Lottery for the funding, Causeway School for hosting the project, Heritage Eastbourne for brilliant training, and Brian Ted and Paul for giving so freely of their time. We would like to say a special thank you to Ted and Ann Hide who were volunteers at weekly sessions.