A documentation of the North Shields fishing industry, developed in 1979, as Amber Films was working on Tom Hadaway’s fish quay drama The Filleting Machine.
As Hadaway said of the fish quay: ‘It is the closest thing Britain can offer to the Gold Rush towns of the Wild West.’ The exhibition captures the various stages of the industry through catching the fish, landing them at the quay and the fish auction, until finally it reaches the ‘wet fish’ shops. The wholesalers are shown filleting the fish and preparing them for distribution throughout Britain. Small shark (dog fish) are skinned, iced and sent to London where the fish and chip shops market them as rock salmon. Hedges’ photographs contributed significantly to the educational Fishing Industry pack produced by Amber/Side and North Tyneside MBC, when the group released its 1989 fishing film In Fading Light.
All images © Nick Hedges