Caught by the River

The Caught by the River Book of the Month: September

9th September 2023

Newly published by Another Place Press, ‘Going To The Sand’ collects Tessa Bunney’s photographs of some of Flookburgh’s last remaining fishermen, shrimping, musselling, cockling and fishing on Morecambe Bay. It’s also our Book of the Month for September. Find an excerpt below. 

Flookburgh fishermen never say
they are going fishing just that
they are ‘Going to the Sand’.

They travel to where they need to
by ancient tractors, negotiating
tides and constantly changing
sands and channels.


Men fetched, women picked. That’s the way it was.

Straight into hot boiler.
Shrimps put out to cool.
Sort through to get seaweed out.

John Wilson, Flookburgh


At one time we used to catch oyster catchers in fly nets, eat them and sell some. You only caught them on dark nights in Winter, really dark and probably windy and the birds would be coming back up from the feeding beds. It was what families did, you set nets and caught whatever could feed you or make you a few shillings. Mother used to stuff them with sage and onions and roast them in the oven. They were absolutely delicious – to me anyway.

I never knew oyster catchers were called oyster catchers, I would think until I was in my mid-twenties, they were always called Sea Pies, that’s all they were ever called here.

We mainly used to put the nets out in the middle of the Bay near Chapel Island and I don’t know why they’d be better there than anywhere else but we just did.

from a conversation with Tessa Bunney, 2019.


‘Going To The Sand’ is out now and available here, both in a standard edition, and a special edition with signed print.