The fisherman's nickname

Photo of Horace 'Rachel' Leech

By Charles Coverdale

Photo:Horace 'Rachel' Leech

Horace 'Rachel' Leech

From the private collection of Charles Coverdale

Fishermen are very superstitious, they all have nicknames. It was unlucky to use their real names at sea. Horace Leech's brothers were called names like Smokey Joe, Toots and Goggles, but Horace, being the youngest, had a name taken from the Bible: Rachel!

The vicar of St Luke's told us this at his funeral, he asked if the family would prefer him to use his nickname at the Service. They agreed because everyone knew him as Rachel.

Fishermen have also superstitions about using the word 'rabbits' or seeing nuns, or whistling - these are all bad luck to them.

This page was added on 28/11/2008.
Comments about this page

My Grandfather William Taylor born 1880,was known as "Big Bill"he was 6' 4".
He would chastise fellow fishermen for mending their nets on Sundays.

By Maralyn Eden
On 01/01/2009

My Late Father always called a rabbit a Bexhill Donkey as did his fisherman friend Ted Gilliam. Regards

By Rick Smallman
On 11/12/2010

Hi, my grandad was a Brighton fisherman, his name was Victor Bishop, married to Muriel Bishop, with two children, my dad, Thomas (Tommy) Bishop, and Violet my auntie, would love to know if any one has any information or pictures of Victor, and any stories to tell. :-) 

By Paula bishop
On 22/11/2013