Cobles, Cod and Crabs

The history of fishing out of North Landing can be traced back to 13th century and at one time as many as 80 cobles operated out of the bay.

The boats now sat at the top of the beach are traditional Yorkshire cobles, specially designed and built to operate in areas with no harbour. The shallow keel allows the boats to be dragged up and down the beach and also offers stability when landing on the shore.

The cobles were originally powered by oars and sail but have now been modernised to include an engine and motorised pot hauler. While only a few cobles now operate out of North Landing, there is still a thriving lobster and crab fishery across the Yorkshire coast, with Bridlington known as the ‘lobster capital of Europe’.

The Yorkshire gansey is an important part of the fishing heritage not only at Flamborough but for other fishing towns such as Filey and Whitby.  These intricate sweaters were traditionally knitted by the fishermen’s wives and made from a specific type of wool, used for its wind and water-proof properties.  Each gansey pattern was unique to the fishing town to which it belonged so that if men were ever lost at sea they could be traced back to their origins.  The fisherman’s initials were also knitted into the welt along the bottom of the sweater.



The Cobles, Cod and Crabs Storyboard at North Landing shows that, whilst materials and equipment may have changed, the fishermen still use the traditional potting techniques and knowledge of fishing grounds passed down through the generations.

© Paula Lightfoot

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