A Sense of Plaice – The Stade, Hastings

Hastings, one of the ancient original Cinq Port towns along the Sussex-Kent coast, has one of the last, and the largest of the old-fashioned shore-based fishing fleets left in Britain. For more than a thousand years the local fisherman have dragged their small boats up onto the shingle beach beneath the sea cliffs on the east end of town, at a place that has been known as The Stade, for centuries. The local fleet work the banks just off shore, and the catch they bring back is not only sustainable but has a very low carbon footprint, having come only a bare few miles. I’ve wanted to capture a sense of this aspect of the town in my travels-at-home photography but needed to wait until winter, when the sunrises over the sea instead of coming up from behind the cliffs, so I could get the right sort of delicious light to make the image ‘sing’. On a cold clear January morning I went down to the Stade and setup this shot between two old clinker-hulled boats.