Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Fish Story

Fish Story


I can’t even imagine how many times
I’ve made you tell this story now. That you’ve made me tell the story, I think … … five, certainly, that I can remember. I’m saying ‘tell the story’
like I’m some kind of raconteur. – How does it come up?
– So it came, it came up … How does it come up
when I don’t bring it up? It comes up because I’m discussing
my stupid name, Caspar Salmon. Once from the top. In the past, in I think 1986 or 1987 possibly 1988 In the 80s, when I was a child my grandmother was invited to
attend the opening of some kind of sea … … thing. Sea thing? Yeah, well I couldn’t remember
what it was, d’you see? Cos I was a kid, I couldn’t think
what thing she’d been to. And then I subsequently had it
confirmed to me. It was the Anglesey Marina. So she attended the opening
of the Anglesey Marina and she attended it in the company of other people from the area in North Wales,
where she lives, who also happened to have fish surnames because my grandmother’s called
Pauline Salmon. So there would’ve been a Mr. … You know, Mr. and Mrs. Crab, or … Carp Cos this is a key point as well, actually,
that I’ve not really scrutinised. How many fish surnames are there? – Cos, for instance, you’ve listed two.
– Yeah. And I’ve never heard of a Carp. Jenny Carp. There are loads of others. Think of more fish, there are them. – Like …
– Anchovie. Uhh … Pollock. Jackson Pollock. – Okay.
– Fucking eat it. – Cod.
– Yeah. Okay, no one’s called Cod. So they get there … They get there, and everybody who is there including the Crabs and the Herrings
and everybody else receives … uhh … A copy … I keep saying a copy,
what’s the word for … They receive their own surname as a fish as a present. So the people who are called Salmon
receive a salmon and the Herrings receive I suppose more than one herring
cos a herring is a smaller fish. But you got a version of your name so my grandmother received a salmon
and she was able to take it home and cook it and it was given to her by Sir Michael Fish the weather presenter from the BBC who was there to open the marina officially,
so he was the person … and he was there
giving out the fish to everyone. What point in Michael Fish’s career is this? Sir Michael Fish of the BBC. Well, I think this is … This is the thing I’m not sure about cos he had the nadir of his career when he
failed to predict a hurricane I think maybe. Good afternoon to you. Earlier on today apparently a woman rung
the BBC and said she heard that there was a hurricane on the way. Well, if you’re watching,
don’t worry, there isn’t. I think that was in 1988 or something
and if I’m correct then … In 1986 he’d have been at the height
of his powers, and fame. And wonderfully he fit the theme perfectly,
because he was famous and … … his name is Fish, and
the theme was fish. Your call cannot be taken at the moment,
so please your message after the tone. Hi, I’m looking for Mr. Bass It’s about the opening of a marina in the 1980s
that I’m hoping he might know something about Is that Mrs. Crab? It is. I’m looking into the opening of a marina
in the late 1980s. I don’t suppose that rings any bells? Where was the marina?
What town was it in? On Anglesey somewhere. There are lots of places on Anglesey. The reason I ask is that apparently
the organisers filled the opening with people from the area who
had fish-related names. You’ve been trawling through
the directory, have you? More or less. Please leave a message after the tone. Hello, I’m hoping to reach the Mullet family regarding the opening of a marina. Hello, is that Mrs. Haddock? Yes. Is that Ms. Pike? Yes. Is that Mr. Plaice? Hello. … fish-related surnames, like yourself. I think we went there, perhaps,
when the kids were little but I don’t think we got invited there,
you know, with a fish-related name. Hello? Is that Mr. Whiting? It is, yeah. … to get as many people there as possible
with fish-related surnames. That’s a new one on me. Hello? Hi, is that Mrs. Turbot? Yes. I’m calling about the opening
of a marina in Anglesey I don’t know anything about it. – The reason I ask is …
– Okay, thank you, goodbye. Maybe it was because of the
time I called, or just because young people don’t
really have landlines any more … Right. … but most people were in the right
sort of age bracket to have been around at the time … Okay. … and the most common response was
one of amused bafflement. But so, perhaps it’s a lie. Well, so I also reached out to
Michael Fish’s agent and let me read you the response I got back. Oh god, this is a nightmare. Hi Charlie, I’m afraid that this
isn’t for Michael as first and foremost he doesn’t
remember opening a marina in Anglesey so possibly you don’t have the correct person. Best, Nick Oh my god. But there are a lot of fish people in
this phonebook, so I figured I’d keep trying. 449? Ooh, hello. Is that Mrs. Herring? Yep. I’m calling cos I’m looking into
the opening of a marina, in Anglesey and the reason I’m phoning you is cos
for the opening, the organisers invited people from the local area, from North Wales,
who had fish-related surnames. As far as I’m aware, this was
some point in the late 1980s … 1980s? No, we didn’t come here til ’88. The only thing we’ve done is …
we went to a thing at, um … Anglesey Sea Zoo with Michael Fish. You are kidding. Yes, yes. So it wasn’t a marina then, it was a … It was at the Sea Zoo,
at Anglesey, on Anglesey. Sea Zoo? Is that like an aquarium? Yeah yeah yeah, big aquarium. I don’t suppose, while you were there,
you were given anything? Um, hang on, me husband’s here,
he might remember a bit more, hang on. Love? What was we given? We was given two of our fish,
weren’t we? We was given herrings, weren’t we? On a white tray. Oh my god, this is brilliant. So it was a bit vague, but she was
very specific about where it was which was this Anglesey Sea Zoo which is an aquarium. – Okay.
– Not quite sure why they’ve called it a Sea Zoo. As though the word aquarium didn’t come
to mind when they were doing the naming. So three weeks from now, on May 27th,
I’m going up to Anglesey – No!
– On the 8am train, via Chester. Yes. – Have you done that route?
– A million times. What should I look out for? There’s nothing there, absolutely nothing. There’s nothing to do. Go to Anglesey, and just look at the sea,
and go and see … … the lighthouse, that’s nice and then get the hell out. Oh no, and go and see the bridge as well. Thingy did a bridge there,
Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Very nice bridge. Actually I’ve been an arsehole,
Anglesey is lovely. I’m thinking of Colwyn Bay which is just awful. I honestly can’t tell you how
excited I am to be here. Maybe we could start by talking
about what makes the Sea Zoo special? I love talking about what makes
the Sea Zoo special, that’s why I’m here. We are completely unique because
we have only native species, all British species. Our water comes from the Menai Strait,
which is right on our doorstep so all our systems are natural systems,
they’re sustainable systems. The seasonality, the temperatures,
everything is the same as the sea around Wales. It’s amazing how many people in Britain know
absolutely nothing about what’s in the sea in Britain. I love that aspect to it, I love the fact
that we get adults, teachers, even OAPs coming here, who say,
‘my god, I never knew that, that’s amazing.’ You know, they learn something, they learn
something new when they come and visit. And how long have you been here? I bought it myself nine years ago. It was launched by four partners I believe,
or maybe three originally and then two of the partners
were a couple They sold the business to me so they actually branched out to
do Halen Mon Sea Salt next door so they are still using the water
from the Menai Strait but they’re using it to make salt now. So you two opened the Anglesey Sea Zoo. You’re the de facto heroes of the entire film. Bit scary, isn’t it? First off, why don’t you tell me whether
the whole thing is actually true? – It is true.
– Absolutely. It was a pivotal moment of the Sea Zoo. It was really important cos we’d invested
everything we had in the Sea Zoo and we’re on a remote island. At that time it was pre-Internet, pre-email and we wanted to tell people about it but we had no budget to do it but as soon as we floated the idea
we produced a press release – Floated, see what you did there.
– Yep. ‘Calling Mr. Piranha,’ it said ‘Officials doubt whether they’ll find
a Mr. Piranha to invite …’ ‘… but there are plenty of other
fishy names in the phone book.’ But we had to get herring, carp,
spratling, pike, haddock, winkle, cockles And jelly. We had to make them
a jelly in the end, didn’t we? The Jelly family came from Mold
and they were some of the winners We did relax the rules for the Jellys because
they came from Mold, we just couldn’t resist that one and they were very nice, weren’t they?
They were very pleased. And we were in everything we were on the BBC World Service
and we were in The Sun It seemed to be like a good news story
and it worked beyond our wildest dreams, really. ‘Michael’s a star catch’ and
‘Top Fish is put in his plaice’ Every subeditor produced every
corny thing they could come up with. – And now you’re over here making salt?
– Yep. What did you do when you opened this place? We bought a birthday cake in
the shape of the building. Hard to beat Michael Fish isn’t it? If there was a weatherman called Mr. Salt … Yeah, who could you get?
You’d have to get, uh … You could get Salt from Salt & Pepa. Oh, great! So I’ve brought you back
a gift from Anglesey Oh my goodness! This is amazing! So that is Michael Fish,
at the opening of the Anglesey Sea Zoo and not only a salmon, but the salmon
that was given to your grandmother That’s impossible! That’s ridiculous. Oh, I’m gonna cry. I’m not gonna cry. ♫ Rock music plays ♫ I have no recollection whatsoever
of opening an aquarium in Anglesey cos I’ve opened so many aquariums
that they all blend into one, as it were No, I never regretted having the name. Thinking back, it was probably an asset
rather than anything else. It seems like it’s got you a fair bit of work? I had a song all about me as well. ♫ I wish, I wish ♫ ♫ He was like Michael Fish ♫ ‘Cute and cuddly and quite a dish’ When was this? That was about twenty years ago now,
I’m not cute and cuddly any more.

49 comments on “Fish Story

  1. Lucky thing they didn't invite the present leader of the Scottish Nationalists.
    She'd have bankrupted them!
    Mind you, her predecessor would have been easier to accommodate!

    Incidentally, they probably called the venue a 'sea zoo' because that translates better into Welsh than 'aquarium'.

  2. As a non native English speaker, the biggest take away for me from this video is how many words I presumed were just English names are in fact types of fish.

  3. This video made my day and it's not even 7am. Most amusing. There was a lot of laughter throughout and I laughed along.

  4. a delightful story. I love the humor. Be sure to have close caption turned on so to catch the funny bits

  5. Great Story… took my kids to Angelsey years back…. didn't go to the Sea Zoo but might next time…

  6. well that's a story….im not 100% but I made aquariums for a sea zoo in Anglesey…?. sure I have pictures somewhere.. but not sure of date !!.. nice film..

  7. Loved this story, produced a fair few chuckles. Incidentally on the Jeremy Vine show earlier they mentioned a young girl who attended, by the surname Turtle. Jaw dropped – they didn't give her a dead turtle to eat, surely? Nope, they found a tin of Turtle soup from somewhere. Phew!

  8. Oh it is beauuutiful! I love it how you worked on the fish story, it's so amazing, you know it feels nostalgic.. Thank you so much for this beautiful video..

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