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After many years of saying, "someone should write about the characters and life around the 'Bottom End' of Scarborough," in 1992 Fred began writing. Dorothy had found a brochure in the local library advertising a writing course in West Yorkshire (The Arvon Foundation at Lumb Bank in Heptonstall) and challenged him to "get on with it."

Fred's first work on the course was a series of humorous anecdotes, varying in length, telling of the fishermen, the highs and lows in the community and of his of own exploits around Scarborough Harbour in the days of his youth.

On a subsequent visit to Lumb Bank the following year, and on meeting author, Nicholas Royle, Fred was encouraged to re-work his short stories into book form.

In 1998 at Nicholas's suggestion, Fred submitted a manuscript, 'Fishy Tales', to 'Neon Lit', a book of short stories by unpublished authors. Fred's contribution was published and chosen as the 1998 winner of the 'Jack Trevor Story Memorial Prize of £500.

Fred's first book, 'First of the Flood', was eventually published in 2002 with excellent reviews and to-date has sold in excess of 5000 copies.

Following the success of his first book, Fred subsequently penned 'Slack Water' (2004), 'The Tide Turns' (2006) and 'Ebbing Tide' (2010). All have received very favourable reviews and have sold well throughout the UK and Ireland.

ebbing tide

Ebbing Tide (2010)

'Ebbing Tide', the fourth and final volume in the 'Tide' series has been difficult to complete. The earlier books were a pleasure to write as I related some extremely funny and zany moments while growing up and making my career in the North Sea fishing industry. In this volume I've continued with the humour, but have also narrated the long, slow death of the way of life I was born to.

In 1971 the UK joined the Common Market and control of our national waters and fish stocks (but not oil) was surrendered to Europe. Since that day, year on year our industry has been in decline. Annual quota reductions, and more recently the number of days in which boats can take this meagre allowance, have led to the demise of this wonderful, vibrant industry.

Despite numerous decommissioning schemes, reducing the Yorkshire fleet to a shadow of its former strength, the cuts have been unabated The few remaining fishermen are struggling to survive. Most of the renowned fishing families of my youth are now gone. This book relates to the end of an era.

the tide turns

The Tide Turns

Following the popularity and success of his first two books. 'The First of the Flood', and 'Slack Water', which are set in the 1960s and 1970s in and around Scarborough Harbour, Fred Normandale now continues the tale with his new book 'The Tide Turns'.

Readers will quickly identify with the author's passionate belief in a fishing industry which has been central to his life since he was born into a prominent fishing family. It's certainly an absorbing read with a lot of humour. The book tells of storms, wrecks and salvage, strange catches and life at sea and ashore in the late 1970's and early 1980's with an emphasis on humour.

 

 

slack water

Slack Water

The second book from this writer relates to some of the North Sea fishermen in the early 1970s through the author's eyes.

"Fishing is an extreme occupation and adversity breeds characters. These hard working, hard drinking men were wonderful characters, living life to the full. Their way of life has almost gone and their like will never be seen again." Fred Normandale

 

 

 

 

first of the flood

First of the Flood

Fred Normandale remembers when his home town of Scarborough was one of the great centres for the fishing industry and had the characters to match. He has turned his memories into a nostalgic book full of tales of his life and adventures at sea.

"I grew up in the 'bottom end' of Scarborough among some wonderful characters, big men with big hearts. The fishermen were extremely hard working and when ashore, mostly hard drinking, though never mixing the two pursuits. I thought this was a normal background, that everyone lived in a world such as mine. I couldn't have been more wrong' life around the harbour was unique."