When scallops were a staple diet

Fishermen conducting a scallop/fish auction on the beach.

Fishermen conducting a scallop/fish auction on the beach.

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At the end of the 19th century, boats loaded with scallops and mussels came up the river from Newhaven to Lewes and anchored by the steps next to the Cliffe Bridge.

When this happened, according to Memories of Old Sussex by Lillian Candlin, Mr English, the town crier who had a cutler’s business in English’s Passage, sprang into action.

He would don his official hat and go round the streets crying: ‘Oh yeah, Oh yeah! Just arrived and now selling at the Bridge.

Fine fresh scallops, twopence a dozen. Full roed mackerel, 16 a shilling.’

According to Ms Candlin: ‘On hearing this cry, grandmother would give my mother (then a child) a shilling and a basket and, along with one of her brothers or sisters, she would set off for the bridge.

‘The shilling bought five dozen scallops and the filled basket was so heavy that it was as much as the two children could carry between them.’

Not so easy to find - or buy - scallops today. And at what price?

Pictured, fishermen conducting a scallop/fish auction on the beach.