The Sound of Horses in the Night

The sound of horses’ hooves in the night, clip clopping up the hill towards the Sands is one evocative memory of a girl growing up with the fishermen of Flookburgh.


Jean grew up in an extended fishing family in the 1940s. Her memories include the horses and carts going to the Sands at all times of the day, depending on the tides. She describes how the shrimps were processed at the family home when the fishermen returned. The shrimp pickers included men, women and the children, who always had a means of earning pocket money. “Is the boiler ready? They’re on the way!”

Most fishermen had market gardens and, poultry. Jean’s father sent his produce to market and went hawking around the district in his van. At Christmas Jean and her father sold cooked shrimps in little bags on the streets of Lancaster. The family earned their living by selling the produce from the sea and land.

Rest and Play

Jean talks about her stay in an isolation hospital, at the age of 6, with TB. She also describes how a local woman treated her for burns and talks of her mother’s illness and staying home to look after her. Sunday school and church were attended every Sunday. Jean wonders why she was not asked to apply for the Grammar School as she was always near the top of the class.

The annual Charter Queen event, Cartmel Races and mumming at Easter were exciting highlights of the year. Jean’s description of her grandmother’s childminding is interesting and her description of chasing a cow inside the church is hilarious. Her mother’s family lived in Cartmel, her grandad built Cartmel Village Hall and Jean talks about them briefly.

Jean describes a strong community and vivid memories of work, rest and play.

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