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Published on Aug 5, 2008
A century ago every port on the coast of North-East England had its own fleet of cobles. Fishermen braved stormy seas to bring back the daily catch in these tiny wooden boats, whose design goes back to the Viking longships. But now more cobles are being destroyed than are being built. And a unique way of life is vanishing fast. This video/DVD tells the story of the coble and features the handful of men who still use the boat for fishing. At Boulmer in Northumberland Main Stephenson's coble Northern Pride is one of just three still based at the village. In summer he casts his nets close to the beach, hoping to catch sea trout in the way his forefathers did. In winter he goes potting for lobsters and crabs. Off Whitby in North Yorkshire, Shaun Elwick casts lines bristling with 1,600 baited hooks as he fishes for cod. Dozens of Whitby boats used to employ this traditional technique, but Shaun's coble Charisma is one of only two still using the "long lines". The decline in coble fishing has hit boat-building too. But in a small shed in Whitby Steve Cook and Lennie Oliver are keeping a tradition alive. They're making a coble for Lennie to use in Robin Hood's Bay. It's the first to be built on the coast for 15 years. But it may well be the last. http://www.northern-heritage.co.uk/pr...