More Explorator memories evoked

INSPIRED by some previously unseen pictures, a Lowestoft resident has sent in his own images and memories of the town's fishing heritage.Brian Jay, of Blackheath Road, enjoyed seeing former Explorator worker Les Bennett's rare images earlier this month and wanted to share his own too.

INSPIRED by some previously unseen pictures, a Lowestoft resident has sent in his own images and memories of the town's fishing heritage.

Brian Jay, of Blackheath Road, enjoyed seeing former Explorator worker Les Bennett's rare images earlier this month and wanted to share his own too.

Amongst his selection of images is a picture of one of the first Explorator vehicles in operation, during the late 1940s.

'Explorator pioneered a fast, hygienic way for preparing and distribution of fresh fruit to replace the previous methods of rail distribution. Many of the early vehicles were ex-army and were insulated with cork and fitted out with metal boxes produced by the Metal Box Company to replace the un-hygienic wooden boxes previously used,' said Mr Jay.


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Explorator became the largest fish distribution company in southern England under the mantle of Small & Co and at the heart of this progress was the strong 'esprit de corps' amongst the workforce. This was nurtured by the thriving Small & Co Sports & Social Club.

'It was originally located at Hill House but it was when the membership reached over 400 that the move was made to the Walmer Road net store,' said Mr Jay.

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'Incidentally the net store was previously part of the farm buildings and Slaughter House which was behind my parent's home, then the only house at the bottom end of Walmer Road.'

Mr Jay was also able to shed more light on the distinctive trawler Capetown, which was featured heavily amongst Mr Bennett's photographs.

'When the Hull trawler Capetown came to Lowestoft she was purchased by the Colonial Fishing Co Ltd and re-numbered LT76. It may be of interest to Mr Bennett that there was a trawler called Explorator LT 525, built in 1919,' he said.

He was also able to provide an image of Jumbo Fisk trialling the new Henrietta Spashett LT82, which was built in 1950.

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