COD you believe it? Dave Appleby has netted more than half a century selling
fish on Grimsby docks. The whale-sized contribution to the industry was honoured
by fish industry bosses.
Dave, 69, recalled the heyday of Grimsby fish market and declared: "I don't
agree with retiring." He added: "I should have retired four years ago but I
enjoy the job and all the people I meet."
After leaving school in 1956, Dave went straight to work as a junior
salesman. He worked for Sir Thomas Robinson for 21 years and continues working
for Atlantic Fresh. He looked back on the days of the bustling market and
fishing boats tethered from one side of the quay to the other and the coal-fired
fishing boats before the new diesel-powered engines. "It used to take more than
three hours to sell all the fish we had on the old pontoon. There were between
30,000 and 40,000 boxes and around 400 fish merchants bidding. You could not
sell all the fish that was landed in those days, it was given away. "We even had
a Saturday market and I always remember all the lads putting the tools down,
getting on their bikes and cycling all together down to the football. "Where we
are now is small in comparison and it is all over in about half an hour." He
told how The Queen's visit to Grimsby Fish Docks in 1958 was one of the early
highlights of his long career.