1995 in a nutshell
Cliff Richard is knighted, Gerald Durrell dies, and Nick Leeson breaks Barings Bank. It’s 1995, Fishing News is printed with a colour front cover, but most of the inside pages are still black and white.
In February The Diary of Bridget Jones first appeared in The Independent newspaper, serial murderer Fred West took his own life while in prison and Bet Lynch aka actress Julie Goodyear left Coronation Street after 30 years. Boxer Frank Bruno became WBC world heavyweight champion and Welsh pop star Richey Edwards, from the band Manic Street Preachers, goes missing, never to be found.
Securities broker Nick Leeson struck a blow for the common man by bringing down the UK’s oldest investment firm Barings Bank, with a £1bn punt on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that went spectacularly wrong, and former American football star and actor, O J Simpson, shows the power of money by getting off scot-free after being accused of murdering his wife. South Africa win the Rugby World Cup and Larry Grayson, Peter Cook, James Herriot and Dean Martin all die… this is 1995.
Commercial fishing in 1995
The fishing industry is having a horrible year. The east coast ports of Grimsby and North Shields are investing heavily in landing and processing facilities while, at the same time, the value of landings collapse to around a third of that seen in the previous year. Spanish access to UK waters leaves fishermen in the southwest demanding exit of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and the Save British Fish campaign divides opinion amongst producer organisations in its push for a total withdrawal from the CFP.
The Spanish shipbuilder Armon completes its first twin rig trawler for Scotland – the 25.9m Crusader BCK 16, for Buckie Skipper Peter Smith. Crusader was followed by the 24.3m Vela BCK 368 for another Buckie skipper, Sandy Phimister, and the 28m Fairway PD 603 for Peterhead skipper Alex Summers.
Other new-builds in 1995 included the wooden-hulled twin-rig trawler Achieve BF 223, built by Macduff Shipyards for Banff skipper James Pirie; the Kircudbright scalloper Argosy BA 804, from Hepworth Shipyard; Casemar LH 502, (the last large wooden-hulled boat built by J & G Forbes at Sandhaven); Challenge II UL 33, Paragon V PD 786 and the 18m vivier-crabber Intuition TO 40, built at Southampton by Halmatic Ltd.
Have you enjoyed this blast from commercial fishing’s past? Each week we look back at our wealth of history in Fishing News, so stay tuned for the next instalment of nostalgia…