Dover Harbour – illicit fishing

Time for a confession.

When I was about 10 years old I was already engaged in a risky criminal enterprise.

As you can see from the picture, Dover Harbour is really big. People fished in the harbour, off the beach and from the Harbour walls. But as you can see from this aerial picture there’s a vast expanse in the middle where no-one could fish. Except us.

My Dad and Uncle Derek built a miniature bottom trawl net with ‘otter doors’ – the mouth of the trawl was only about 6-8 feet.

We would go out into the harbour on the small boat my Dad used, in the middle of the night. No running lights, of course. We’d trawl the middle of the harbour and get loads of Dover sole, crabs, lobsters and others. My job was to act as look-out for ferries coming in through the Eastern entrance (as the one is in this picture is doing). (In those days – early 1960s – the western entrance was still blocked by a boat sunk in the War to stop German U-boats).

We’d have seafood for a week and my dad would sell the rest to stalls in Folkstone.

Happy days.

Dover Harbour

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