Fish Tales Man: The Times they are a Changing

27 Jul 2016

A Walk through Memory Lane to JCS Fish, Murray Street In praise of the Docks by “Fish Tales Man”

You know, anybody visiting the docks after a long absence would probably hardly recognise it. But one thing is true – you can’t demolish memories as easily as you can demolish buildings.

I had cause to visit JCS Fish just recently. My pedestrian route of choice? Why, the sea wall that links Suggitt’s Lane crossing to the North Wall. Even this route has undergone major changes over the last few years. Properties have now been fenced in along all the length of the sea defence. The sea wall has been much improved, providing the ideal barrier on which to lean and admire the fantastic, ever changing scene that is the River Humber. Views to die for!

Emerging from the pathway onto the North Wall, the changed scene strikes one immediately. Where once were thriving trawling, engineering and fish processing companies, there is now open space.

My old place of work, Marine Diesel Services Limited on Womersley Road, no longer remains. I did manage to find the doorstep that led up to my office back in the 70’s! Many good – and not so good – memories of that building came flooding back.

Yet amongst all of the flattened buildings, there stands a testament to my youth, an oasis in the Docks desert. “E. Leggett and Sons – Shipwrights.” Ernie Leggett, master shipwright, the father of the beautiful young lady who was to become my wife, 45 years ago! Look out toward Ross House from JCS Fish and you’ll see it standing defiantly against the bulldozers. Lean out and look to your left and you’ll see the Jubilee Café, a wooden building that has stood the test of time, and which kept me going in the mornings as I ate their wonderful bacon butties or toasted cheese sarnies.

The docks may have suffered many setbacks, but JCS Fish has put its faith in it. It certainly wasn’t there when I used to make my way round Murray Street to the Mildand Bank in Fish Dock Road for the wages money! But it is great to see it there now. I still feel a buzz when I enter the docks estate. From little acorns, great oak trees grow.

JCS Fish has bloomed from the acorn and is a healthy young tree. I look forward to seeing it with its magnificent canopy of leaves.

  • “You know, anybody visiting the docks after a long absence would probably hardly recognise it. But one thing is true – you can’t demolish memories as easily as you can demolish buildings.”

    Fish Tales Man