Lowestoft, Suffolk. Interior view of stored nets in netting sheds at Shoals Yard. Fishing nets were an essential tool for the fisherman and required considerable maintenance. After each fishing trip, nets had to be laid out to dry and any tears mended. They also had to be washed regularly using a solution traditionally made of oak or birch bark to reduce damage from sea salt. They were then stored in special netting sheds. Photographed by Hallam Ashley in September 1968
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EDITORS COMMENTS This print takes us back in time to the bustling fishing town of Lowestoft, Suffolk. Stepping into Shoals Yard, we find ourselves immersed in the heart of the fisherman's world - the netting sheds. The interior view reveals a mesmerizing sight - rows upon rows of neatly stored fishing nets, each with its own story to tell. These nets were not just tools for the fishermen; they were their lifelines, essential for their livelihoods and survival on the treacherous seas. Maintaining these intricate webs was no easy task. After every fishing trip, meticulous care was taken to lay out the nets and allow them to dry under the sun's warm embrace. Any tears or damages had to be skillfully mended by experienced hands. But that wasn't all - regular washing was crucial too. A traditional solution made from oak or birch bark was used to cleanse away sea salt residue and prevent further damage caused by its corrosive nature. As we gaze at this snapshot frozen in time, we can almost smell the faint scent of salty air intermingled with hints of wood and fresh ocean breeze. The dedication and hard work required to maintain these nets is palpable through Hallam Ashley's lens. In this remarkable photograph captured in September 1968, Hallam Ashley has immortalized an integral part of maritime history - a testament to both human ingenuity and our unyielding connection with nature's vast waters.
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