Fish Town. 1990-2020. Barrow Crash



FISH TOWN Fine Art Prints

Buy Signature or Studio Series fine art pigment prints. Prices from £125.00

Click on an image below to view each fine art print description, series options, pricing and other details;

Select a FISH TOWN 1990 fine art print
Select a FISH TOWN 2020 fine art print
error: Content is restricted. License to use is required. All copyrights are owned by Steve Thornton !!

Fine Art Print; Signature & Studio Print Series Specifications;

Signature Series Print size
16.5″x 11.5″ / 420mm x 297mm. Signature Series Image size – Approx. 12″ x 8″ / 310mm x 210mm. Varies per image format (± 1″ √ 3cm).
Studio Series Print Size
8.3″ x 11.7″ / 210mm x 297mm Studio Series Image Size – Approx. 9″ x 5.5″ / 230mm x 140mm. Varies per image format (± ½″ √ 2cm).

Printing Specifications for Signature & Studio Series Fine Art Prints;
Print Stock – Epson Signature series pigment print. Fine art traditional archival stock 325g √m2.
Print Stock Manufacturer – Epson Ltd
Permanence Rating – 315+ years.
Ink – Epson Archival x10 Ultra Chrome Pigment
Printer – Epson A2+ P900
Colour Calibration; monitors and printers – X-rite iPro 3  plus calibrator

Signature Series Fine Art Print Finishing;
Hand signed front & verso of print – Yes.
Embossed authenticity stamped on prints white area – Yes.
Hand signed & embossed certificate of authenticity – Yes.
Mounted – No.
Framed – No.
Presentation- For more information & images please click here
Framing & mounting note: Signature fine art prints are not mounted or framed as framing and mounting styles are subjective to one’s own environment.

Studio Series Fine Art Print Finishing;
Hand signed front & verso of print – No.
Embossed authenticity on print – No.
Embossed certificate of authenticity – Yes.
Mounted – No.
Framed – No.
Presentation – For more information & images please click here
Framing & mounting note: Studio fine art prints are not mounted or framed as framing and mounting styles are subjective to one’s own environment.

Limited Edition Fine Art Prints;
For more information on selected artworks please click here

Shipping, Presentation, Pricing and Delivery;
Shipping costs – As stated during checkout.
Presentation & packaging – For more information & images please click here
Pricing – As listed in menu & checkout pages.
Delivery – By courier within 14 days of ordering.  Please note: All fine art print orders are hand made.

FISH TOWN - The story so far... By Steve Thornton

The FISH TOWN project was only a year long documentation of a fishing industry about the enter new European Union (EU) regulations in 1990 which would, and did change the social and economic future of a historic fishing town called Grimsby on the East coast of England. The project ended up spanning 30 years !

The fish docks where all the fish landing, auctions, filleting and global distribution was in a relatively small area called ‘The Kazbah’. (Where did that name come from?). A village if you like, on private land owned by British Associated Ports (ABP). Drivers needed no licence, no MOT’s, jobs were on a family basis or an interview was as simple as; ‘lets see how fast you can fillet Boy’. Health and safety was still in its victorian era and everyone knew everybody either by a nickname or some other namely wording. The ‘Kazbah’ pub opened at 6am and the smoke filled cafe’s bustled with all day breakfasts, steaming tea earns and banter that should have been scripted for ‘Live at the The Apollo’. (A famous London comedy theatre).

I became aware of these new EU rules in 1988/9 a decided to document the life of Grimsby’s fishing town. Armed with ABP accreditation, 2 Nikon F3’s, 60 rolls of film kindly donated by Kodak, I ventured into another world. Shooting the very first frames scared the hell out of everyone. Most hid behind fish boxes and others simply ran off. It took a whole week before word got out that I was not DHSS. Once accepted I became a member with nick names like; smudge box, snapper and twat with a lens.

For 3 or 4 days a week, every week for a year, I’d be there from 6ish to lunch time when the last filleting was done.  Often getting a ‘heads up’ if there was a spectacular landing or something unusual happening the next day. I’d go back to the studio after an all day breakfast in one of the cafe’s, and develop the films, print contact sheets and file them. Marking out initial images I liked. Ilford later donated about 40 rolls of film and a large batch of Ilford Gallerie printing paper. 

When the day eventually came for everyone to have to operate under the new EU rules, the fish docks died. The heart and sole of a fishing community disappeared. Never to return. 

In 1990 I put together an exhibition of the images in Grimsby’s town hall. Out of nearly 100 rolls of film I selected and printed 120 exhibition prints onto Ilford Gallery fibre based paper. Held a VIP and press evening to ‘spread the word’ (the internet and social media wasn’t invented) and finally opened to the public for a 4 day showing. By the 3rd day it was sold out.

What happened next ! Well, I went back to shooting commercial work for 30 years. Disappeared from the limelight ! ‘Never shooting anything personal again’. How boring ! However, mouths and mortgage to feed and all that…

ZOOM forward 30 years to 2020 and BREXIT. ‘What a perfect opportunity to revive FISH TOWN’. 

Fortunately, I did archive all the black and white negatives and created a filing system, so looking back through the contact sheets stirred my imagination to resume the project. I did a few visits to the ‘Kasbah’ and it was absolutely as it was 30 years ago. Only deserted and decaying. Everywhere was fenced off due to dangerous structural damage. Although a new and very efficient fish market was built. No businesses where trading nearby. All had left the docks forever or to new premises on sterile business parks and a heroic new seafood village modelled on the old pontoons.

After a few phone calls to ‘get the bigger picture’ I visited up to 10 seafood processing companies and documented the workers and facilities. A far cry from the 1990 images. It’s now a seafood laboratory. Robotic, high tech, digital production and distribution operations. 

Armed again with my cameras. Nikon D5’s this time, I documented the ‘Kasbah’s’, empty premises, closed cafe’s, ghostly streets and found a smoke house still operating in the same traditional way. ‘Apparently, smoke houses didn’t have to change at all’ !

Over 6 months I captured the new way the FISH TOWN worked and am sponsored by Epson Printers  using the latest printers, scanners, pigment inks and fine art papers. X-Rite sponsor me with the latest i3 Pro Plus calibration tools. And am supported by Nikon Professional. These sponsors helped me produce this whole image collection of FISH TOWN as an important cultural, social and economic documentation covering 30 years of change to a fishing towns community, way of life and economic structure. Without them, I doubt I’d be writing this….

This unique collection of images of which a selected preview are now displayed here for the first time. These largely unpublished images have been digitally remastered using today’s technology. The FISH TOWN collection of images capture the true life of a time gone by plus new images of post Brexit, documenting Grimsby fish dock in present day. A unique collection of images covering all the working life of  filleters, buying and selling, the dry dock, the ice house at work, early morning auctions, dock workers, café’s and more…

The inaugural exhibition is to be shown in Grimsby next spring 2022 for the local populous and two books are to be published to coincide with the exhibition. One general soft back edition and a hard back collectors edition. Hopefully, thereafter the exhibition will go on tour to other galleries and fishing ports in the UK.

Enjoy !
Steve Thornton. 2021.


fish town. 1990 to 2020. the eu years
digitally REMastered images never published before !

This unique collection of images are now published here for the first time and will be exhibited at a special inaugural venue in Grimsby where the FISH TOWN image collection was produced. Before the whole collection goes on a UK gallery tour.

The FISH town collection consists of

The 1990 image collection are the very last photographs documenting Grimsby Fish Docks in all their glory. Prior to new European legislation coming into force

The 2020 image collection documents the new fish and processing industry as we leave the European Union.

Compared to 30 years ago. It’s like a mephitic shanty town to a seafood science lab.

Steve Thornton. November/2020.

2020 sponsored and supported by;
Epson; Large format printers, fine art paper stock, Ultrachrome archival pigment ink.
X-Rite Pantone; i1 Pro 3 Plus, monitor, print and scanner calibration equipment.
Nikon Professional, 19mm PC-E Lens.


A hard back, cloth bound book with dust jacket.
This beautifully printed fine art photographic ‘coffee table’ book will include all the FISH TOWN collection of images, printed on 195gsm soft gloss finished pages. 285gsm colour branded folio pages, hand embossed stamp with photographers penned signature & hand numbered with a black silk ribbon page marker, enclosed a hardbound black cloth embossed slip case with book title. These books will be available to order from a limited edition print run at the exhibition or before on this website. Sign up for our newsletter for further news on production dates.

FISH TOWN Fine Art Prints. Now on sale

These stunning Giclée museum grade archival fine art prints are available in a choice of three size options.

The Signature, Studio and Limited Edition Series. These are printed using the latest 10 colour Epson printers employing the latest 10 colour Ultra-Chrome archival colour ink sets. Producing an ultimate D-Max of 10.2 for rich blacks and detailed highlights.

All three series are printed on Epson archival museum grade 325gsm stock with a soft gloss finish. The Signature Series are hand signed and embossed onto 20 x16 inch / 329mm x 483mm stock and the unsigned Studio series are printed onto the same stock but at a smaller size of 8.3″ x 11.7″ / 210mm x 297mm. The Limited Series prints are larger than the above and there are only 10 issues of each print.

More information is available on the prints page. Click on an image from the gallery for a full description and prices. Or go to the Limited Edition Series from the Fine Art dropdown menu.

FISH TOWN Fine Art Prints are beautifully presented in black archival boxes with a certificate of authenticity...

Steve Thornton is a professional photographer whom over the last 30 plus years has worked worldwide on photographic projects and magazine assignments.

The most diverse 4 square miles in Great Britain

Nowhere in Great Britain does such a natural diversity occur within such a small area.
Nested on England’s panoramic east coast, Donna Nook proffers an outstanding natural ecology, English Nature protection, carbon reducing salt flats, a rare large breeding
grey seal colony alongside billion dollar fast jets flown by top gun pilots.
A unique world war 2 history and rich agricultural farmland.

Photographed by Steve Thornton

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Published this autumn 2021