Monthly Archives: June 2012

Opening of the New Fish Quay – Forty years ago!


The first of a series of articles featuring extracts from our archives….


Image of Newspaper Headline


Extract from ‘Fishing News’ 22nd January 1971 

From a port where century-old facilities were creaking under the strain of a progressive and expanding fleet, Brixham has been transformed into one of the most modern inshore fishing centres in Europe.

Built at a cost of £325,000 by the County Borough of Torbay, supported by the
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the new fish jetty opened last week is an integral unit combining a fish market, cold stores, processing plant, research laboratory, transport loading bays offices and a patent slipway.
A welcoming crowd of several hundred people including fishermen, their families and townspeople saw Mr James Prior, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food unveil a plaque to open the new fish market and Jetty.


Image of Brixham fishmarket 1971


At the opening ceremony he remarked: “The port of Brixham is coming into its own once again. The amount of fish landed has risen steadily in the last four or five years, and I am delighted the fishermen are to have proper marketing facilities.”

When he stepped ashore Mr. Prior commented: “It is the first time I have been out in a fishing boat and have not been ill.”

Since the formation of the fish marketing co-operative Brixham and Torbay Fish Ltd. in 1964, and the growing number of modern diesel engined trawlers ranging up to 75ft., Brixham started to re- gain some of the eminence it had as a fishing port at the turn of the century. Since 1964 landings have consistently risen from 1,500 tons to 2,200 tons in 1969. ‘

But the pace of progress at the port had overtaken the facilities, which were a serious impediment to any further expansion of the fleet.

Describing the situation in the recently published book, Fishing Ports and Markets, Mr. E. W. H. Gifford. of the consulting engineers to the Brixham harbour project said: “ Trawlers must arrive in the harbour before low water if they are to land their catch onto the quay and the fish must then be transported in trolleys some 200m to the market, through a main street thronging with visitors in the summer. The ice must also be carried from the ice plant the same way. This wasteful movement costs £5000 a year in labour alone. But the fishermen’s troubles are not over when they have berthed for falling tide leaves their boats dry and liable to damage. They cannot return to sea again until the tide returns and so that fishing time is often lost.”

Brixfest 2012 – Napoleonic Bootcamp


Sunday 3rd June 2012 – Marching, musket drill and cooking at Battery Gardens…













Family Friendly Museum Award – The Final!


On Thursday 31st May, Lesley and Louise attended the Awards Ceremony at the offices of the Sunday Telegraph for the presentation of certificates to the TOP 6 Family Friendly Museums, as judged by Kids in Museums.

We were very proud to reach this level, having been selected from hundreds and then from a short-list of twenty, in the judging as our Museum was a very tiny minnow in a sea of much bigger fish.

The winner was Haslemere Educational Museum, Sussex, to whom we send our congratulations.

During our visit we were told that we would receive the feedback from the families who judged us, so we will study their comments with care, and armed with other background information gleaned, we will return to the fray, hoping to be the absolute finalist next year!