Trades

It wasn’t just the boats that created employment for people in St. Ives.

A thriving industry, as with most others, had the inevitable result of spin off and support trades which complimented the hard work being carried out by fishermen.

One of the first support trades to spring up was boat building, along with cellars, fish stores, smoke houses, net lofts, ice production and pilchard packing. All of this also led to a roaring trade for the newly arrived Great Western Railway in St. Ives.

Boat building in particular proved to be a valuable trade providing boats not just for St. Ives fishermen but for others scattered around the various ports in Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Ireland and east coast ports like Lowestoft.

Such was the admiration of the craftsmanship of St. Ives boat builders, their techniques were copied by counterparts in the UK.

As large numbers of herring began landing in St. Ives a whole new curing industry being established, largely for making kippers.

Rouncefields went into business in 1894 and other smoke houses soon followed. This opened the way for further employment particularly for Scotch girls who were recruited to prepare fish for curing.

Coopers sprang up as the demand for exporting pilchards flourished along with essential net making factories, sail makers.

Special trains to transport fish out of Cornwall after the railway arrived in St. Ives in 1859. On occasions some fish could not be carried because of the huge quantity that arrived at the railway station.