From The Telegraph 05/09/11: [W]hen David Copp came across a fishing trawler moored in Ilfracombe Harbour he took great offence and complained about the "disgusting" smell. The 46-year-old was outraged that his children, aged seven and nine, had been forced to endure the sight of 12 crates of dead fish and crabs, piled up on the quayside. Poor little bast*rds. I don't know how they coped. He said the ordeal had left them "quite distressed" and demanded to know why the harbourmaster was not more considerate to tourists. "It's not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, there was a real stench. "My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers." Bless. Copp called Ilfracombe harbourmaster Rob Lawson to complain about the smell that had emanated from The Lady of Lundy trawler before calling the North Devon Journal to air his woes. [Lawson said] "I told this chap that you shouldn't take your children to a harbour if that is how they react to dead fish." Good answer – I like it. Copp is understood to have been on a two-week family holiday … when he lodged his complaint, which attracted disbelief from locals. One said: "Ridiculous. Does he think all his food comes in packets? What did he expect to see at a working harbour?" I grew up in a Cornish fishing village so can sympathise – with the locals I mean, not with Davey Copp and his oversensitive sense of smell. Tourists should enjoy the fact they can wander around working harbours, savouring the sights, smells and atmosphere. Whilst fishy harbours might be a tad pongy to some, speaking from experience, I think tourists themselves emit far worse smells when they're out and about. The truth is, the greatest danger from working harbours come from being pasty-raped by a seagull, overcome by diesel fumes from the fishing boats, fork-lift trucks running your over on the quay (once, in my home village, passing just a metre or so from me carrying a naval contact mine which a trawler had inadvertently dredged up**) or your toddler taking an unexpected dip into the harbour. Strong smelling fish are a feature – not a problem. But surely the local council or harbour authority could have done something to help ol' Davey out? Maybe they could have offered him a clothes-peg to be clipped on the end of his nose for use when walking around the quay. And as for his children finding the smell egregious, well, maybe his wife should have clothes-pegged the end of his penis years previously. That would've solved the problem. **Long story – I was angling as a child in the mid nineties (as you do) and was most aggrieved to be forced to evacuate the quay pending the bomb disposal squad's arrival. Everyone feared it was a live WWII mine. But they needn't have worried. The presence of the words 'sand filled dummy' on the side of the mine's casing was a dead giveaway. Shame it took the navy divers nearly 90 minutes to figure that out – utterly wrecked my fishing session.
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