Memories of a fishing landscape: Making sense of flow and decline

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Drawing on life history interviews conducted with former fishers and other older residents in Great Yarmouth – one of the 20% most deprived districts in England – this article explores how memories of a once flourishing fishing industry are used to make sense of the decline that followed the end of the industry in the 1960s. Focusing on the material and affective constituents of people’s memories, embodied in three categories of fishing-related objects (boats and quay, nets and fish) through which their stories are told, I explore how those formerly involved in fishing-related activities understand and experience the past and their world in the present. Using biographical and historical memories to reclaim their role in the making of a town that they consider to ‘have missed the boat’, they are able to make sense of the transformations that occurred and to reclaim their role as place makers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMemory Studies
Early online date11 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2023


  • assemblages
  • fishing
  • flow
  • material and affective memories
  • ruination

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