A very special book was launched on May 1st 2015. All I Ever Wanted and is the life story of Sidmouth’s last commercial fisherman, Mr Stan Bagwell. All profits will be donated to the Fishermen’s Mission.

Christine first met Stan Bagwell and his family in 2002 as a costumer at their fresh fish shop, Sidmouth Trawlers. She got to know Mary, Stan’s wife, his daughters Lynn and Kay and his grandsons Ryan and Kieran. But there was so much more she didn’t know.

When he wasn’t serving in the shop Stan often chatted with Christine, as he does with many locals and friends, reminiscing about his childhood, his life at sea and the fishing business. Christine said that someone should write it all down and eighteen months later they produced this book together.

This is not only one family’s struggle to make a living, and develop a family business, but has Sidmouth’s fishing community, history and traditions woven into it.

Most of the content of this book has been sourced from recorded conversations with Stan. Christine said “It has been a privilege to listen to Stan and Mary and I am honoured that they shared their hopes, dreams, triumphs and tragedies with me”.

Christine Hardy

Synopsis: Stan Bagwell was out fishing with his father Bob as soon as he was able to climb into a boat. Born in 1938, his childhood memories tell of a Sidmouth long gone. His burning determination to earn a living at sea was thwarted by his mother who knew what a hard life it was. Aged 15, Stan started an apprenticeship with a local builder and bought his first boat. He was determined to succeed and was soon a familiar figure on Sidmouth Sea front, offering trips to visitors and selling the fish he, his father and younger brother Graham caught. He married his resourceful wife Mary and together they created Sidmouth Trawlers, which included two shops and four boats working from Sidmouth and a trawler, which fished from Brixham. When Stan and Mary’s son, Ian, got his Skippers licence and daughter Kay began working in their shop, the future of Sidmouth Trawlers seemed secure.

Faced with a double tragedy in 1998, it seemed for a while that there was no future. How this remarkable family survived and re-invented itself, is an inspiration to us all.

This book will be on sale through our eBay page soon, with all proceeds going to the Fishermen’s Mission.

Steve Bagwell book cover