The Last of the Hunters: Life with the Fishermen of North Shields
Published by Five Leaves Publications
Peter Mortimer travelled where Cod and End of the Line followed. He was the first writer to travel and work on the boats themselves. Peter worked with the fishermen – on six different boats –on journeys ranging from 18 hours to 10 days, in working conditions not seen on land for 200 years – i.e. men working with unprotected machinery in appalling conditions, sometimes up to 18 hours a day.
A harsh, macho and dangerous world of thirty-foot long rust buckets with exposed decks covered in fish blood and guts all day long. Nobody sees fishermen once they leave port, so nobody knows what happens on board. Fishing is dangerous and unpredictable. Lives are often lost in this harsh environment about which most of us know nothing.
Peter Mortimer lived the life – winning respect from the fishermen and developing his own respect for a group of workers whose working conditions are primitive, and job security is non-existent.
The Last of the Hunters has been hard to find but in demand since it went out of print. This new edition brings us up to date with the distinctive and close-knit North Shields fishing community, and how the changes in fisheries’ policy have affected them.
Peter Mortimer was born in Nottingham and lives in the North East where he edits Iron Press and runs Cloud Nine theatre group. He also writes regular columns for The Chronicle. Peter Mortimer’s Broke Through Britain became a best-seller. His play Cool for Qat and travel book of the same name document the origins of the disastrous 1930s North-East riots and their relevance to the Western attitude to Muslims today.