The book, Down Channel – The Smacks and Mariners of The Shoreham Oyster Fishery, follows the 1st-class oyster smacks and fishermen of Essex, Jersey and Sussex. They battled winter gale, vigorous governmental interference and suffered tragic loss in their search for deep-sea oysters.

The author, Kim Matthews, is Shoreham-born with Essex oyster fishermen in his family line. On March 18th, Kim will be giving a talk and answering your questions about the history of the Shoreham oyster fishery and its lessons for the future sustainability of our local maritime environment. Kim trained as a teacher. But he also had a spell as an inshore fisherman out of Shoreham for eight years so understands the feast and famine of fishing life.

A book with something for everyone

Family historians can trawl through the book for details of their ancestors’ migration to Shoreham and Southwick, whilst sailing craft enthusiasts will enjoy over 90 vintage images of smacks and luggers. Environmentalists can examine modern themes like fishery regulation, stock sustainability and water pollution.

Kim Matthews – with Down Channel.
(Photo courtesy of Andy Horton)

Do join us for this Visions of Shoreham event to listen and ask your questions with our engaging speaker, Kim Matthews. It promises to be a lively, fascinating and topical evening.

Shoreham Centre, 7.30pm, Friday 18th March 2022
(£2 members £3 non-members, on the door).
More details here.

To buy a copy of the book, contact Kim Matthews by email at

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Last modified: December 12, 2022