Worthing has a long long maritime history predating its late 18th-century emergence as a fashionable holiday destination.
For centuries, fishing families in Worthing have contributed to and shaped our town. From the town’s earliest Saxon settlements in the fifth century to the modern age, fishing has always been part of Worthing’s ways to sustain its population. And until recently, visitors to the shore would have welcomed the boats back some early mornings, with the fishermen pushing the boats up the shingle beach after spending hours out at sea catching bream, cod, huss or cuttlefish depending on the season.
However, this sight has become rarer over time. Fewer and fewer boats are seen going out to sea and our unique beach launch fishing fleet is quietly disappearing. The Last Fisherman Standing is a project run by local social enterprise We Are FoodPioneers CIC (foodpioneers.org.uk) and seeks to protect the heritage of our fishing families in Worthing, sharing their vast knowledge of the sea on our doorstep with residents and visitors alike. We also celebrate their contribution to our town, and revive and showcase some of the traditions of small scale beach launch fishing in Worthing over time. For more information about the Last Fisherman Standing please visit lastfishermanstanding.org.uk
This film gives voice to our last part-time fisherman John Booker, who has been fishing off Worthing beach for decades. He recounts his life as a fisherman, and the changes that small scale fishing has undergone over time.
Catch John at his locker on the beach opposite St. George’s Road to buy fresh fish during the week. Should fish be available John always places an A-board just across the road on the A259.