Brixham Trawlers: Marine Paintings

Guess Again, Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks Guess Again, Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks The Mannequin, Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks  Click to view 'Glory of Brixham', Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks The Gleaner, Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks  Scandalised, Brixham Trawler painting by Robin Brooks It was his mother's vivid recollections of her holiday visits to Torbay, before and after the First World War especially across the bay to Brixham, that drew the artist to begin this series of paintings.

So it was in 1992/93, that Robin set off for Brixham, Devon, UK, with a determination to meet people who had built and sailed the Brixham sailing trawlers. He wanted to find out as much as he could about the boats and the men. His initial contact was with the Brixham Museum and Historic Society. They kindly gave him special access to study their collection of models out of hours. He found these models to be a wonderful resource, but needed more information. Robin eventually made contact with two venerable Brixham men, Alf Worth and Ron Pillar, both of whom had a great knowledge of the subject.

"Looking back I count myself as very fortunate to have had the privilege of spending time with these men, for they generously gave their time and invited me into their homes. They have both now sadly passed away." - Robin Brooks

Writing in 1994, Alf wrote in a letter to Robin,

"Most of the boats had finished their working life in 1939 at the start of WW2. Today, the men who worked these boats have all passed away or are too old to remember"

Alf and Ron were themselves directly descended from owners or involved in the building of these boats and so were an inspiration to Robin.

Marine painting: Guess Again, Brixham Sailing Trawler by Robin Brooks

'Guess Again' BM 346

Brixham Sailing Trawler

Oil on canvas
16" x 22" (40.5 cm x 56 cm)
Private Collection

Built in 1916 by J.W. & A. Upham at Brixham for Samuel Holland.

Guess Again makes a handsome sight, as she dashes home out of a watery dawn sky. She is under single reefed main and mizzen. Brixham men often chose quite curious names for their boats. Guess Again BM346 was the second boat the skipper had owned; the first one was called Guess.

"Guess Again, racing home with the catch, I like the colours, the rig, set of the sails sea and sky as accurate and to my eye beautiful"
Brendan McMahon, Limerick, Ireland

Marine painting: Glory of Brixham

'The Glory of Brixham'

BM16 - Brixham Sailing Trawler

Oil on canvas
30" x 40" (76 cm x 101.5 cm)

Built in 1906, the Glory was owned by Samuel Pine Ellis. She was of a class known locally as Big Sloops, crewed by four men and a boy. The great beam of the trawl is stowed on the port side and hangs well over the stern. Brixham trawlers sailed as far afield as Yorkshire, the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea. The Glory is shown under reefed main and mizzen.

Marine painting: Glory of Brixham, detail Detail showing the trawl beam secured over the port quarter. Marine paintings as a collection of greetings cards

Greetings Cards

Several of the Brixham Paintings have been reproduced as high quality blank greetings cards. They are available in a selection pack of marine paintings by Robin Brooks. Click to contact the studio.

Marine painting: Scandalised, Glory of Brixham

'Scandalized, Glory BM16'
Brixham Sailing Trawler

Oil on panel
7" x 10" (18 cm x 25.5 cm)
Sold at Gallerie Marin, Appledore
And thus to a private collector.

'Scandalize': a method of reducing sail in fore-and-aft rig by hauling up the tack and lowering the peak of a sail.

The Glory BM16 was built in 1906. She was one of a large fleet of Brixham sailing trawlers that were built and operated from this famous Devonshire fishing port. In the year she was built, there were 220 smacks registered as fishing out of Brixham, landing 3,300 tons.

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