The following photographs form part of a longer term story that I began about a year and a half ago. It documents the way that some people in my area of Cleveland and North Yorkshire still use and work with the sea not only as a means to generate income for themselves and their families but also help to keep alive a way of life that has been key in this area for many years. It is a way of life, the fishing in particular, that has gradually declined until it has reached a desperate state of uncertainty and one which now allows for little more than recreational fishing rather than the former glory of a larger industry.
Along with the fish and lobster fishermen the people who live in this region also use the sea for many other reasons and this project will attempt to highlight this. Whether it is collecting bait at low tide before going fishing or collecting the sea-coal that is left on the sands after heavy seas – whether it is plunging into the chilly waters dressed as Santa as a way to raise money for charity during the Boxing day dip or enjoying the adrenaline and excitement of a surf session this area of the country may have seen better days when it comes to the larger scale industries that used to prosper but just as the tides wash the sands clear as they rise and fall so the people of this region once again are using and working with the sea and all that it brings and offers for many different reasons. Something, hopefully, that is unlikely to change.
This project will, I imagine, never reach a conclusion of its own and I haven’t yet given myself a definitive time frame to complete my part in documenting it, but the hope is to eventually gather enough material to hold an exhibition so that everyone may get the chance to appreciate the diversity and variety that is offered by the sea off the Cleveland and Yorkshire coastline.
As usual, any comments or suggestions welcome.
Just click on the first image to view larger then click anywhere on the picture to view the next…