At the beginning of the new season the Museum hosted the successful launch of Battling Onwards: The Brixham Fishing Fleet 1914-1918 by Samantha Little, Writer in Residence.
The book, written as part of the Museum’s Great War centenary commemorations and based on memoirs from the Museum’s archive with contemporary newspaper accounts, provides a fascinating and fast-moving narrative of life at sea and the constant danger to the fishery from German submarines, mines in the trawl and many other hazards.
The Museum was delighted to welcome Torbay’s Mayor, Gordon Oliver, a keen supporter of the Museum, along with Dr James Wallis, Associate Research Fellow at Exeter University; Katie Findlay from the Devon Remembers Heritage Project; Nigel Hyman, Curator of Sidmouth Museum with his wife, Aileen; Heather Roche, Deputy Curator of Teign Heritage Centre and her colleague, Lou Bagnold.
Samantha and her husband, Edwin Day, were also delighted to welcome family members, friends and many of the Museum’s volunteers and supporters. The Museum’s Fundraising Team provided a wonderful vintage tea with home-made cakes to rival those of Mary Berry, which greatly enhanced the book signing, socialising and general enjoyment of the occasion!
Angela Morgan, one of the Museum’s longest-serving volunteers, presented a huge bouquet of flowers to Samantha, who was also celebrating a milestone birthday!
John Risdon, local historian, author and President of the Museum, who wrote the introduction to Battling Onwards, talked about the importance of the Museum to the local community and beyond and introduced Samantha, who thanked everyone for attending and supporting her writing career. She also thanked the Mayor for his support of the Museum, including having provided a grant from the Mayor’s Fund – half the annual salary of the Mayor which is distributed to charities and communities throughout Torbay. She then spoke in depth about the Great War and signed numerous copies of Battling Onwards, which sold extremely well. The Mayor also spoke, commending the ‘impressive’ Museum on the hard work of its staff and volunteers. His attendance at the event despite a very busy diary was particularly appreciated.
BATTLING ONWARDS: THE BRIXHAM FISHING FLEET 1914-1918
is available from Brixham Heritage Museum and at a cost of £3.50 (plus p&p)