Alfred Lay was born at Aylesbury, Bucks., on 12 February, 1869. His father was Samuel William Lay and artist and coachpainter from London, and his mother was Sarah, nee Duffill. Sarah died in 1877 after the birth of a daughter, and Samuel William placed Alfred and at least four other children in an Aylesbury orphanage. The children never saw him again and the date and place of his death are unknown. Alfred Lay was apprenticed in Grimsby to Robert William Roberts, master of the fishing smack ‘Silvery Spray on 6th June, 1883, when was aged 16. He served six years apprenticeship and gained his Mate’s Ticket in 1893. By 1899 he was master of the steam trawler ‘Vampire’, which was owned by the Atlas Steam Fishing Co. In 1892 Alfred had married Kate Short, whose father Henry was a packet steward. Alfred apparently continued as a fisherman until he emigrated to New Zealand in 1914. He set up home at Hastings, an inland town, and became a contractor for haymaking and cartage. His four sons Alfred, Edgar, Stanley and Frank all became orchardists. Alfred Lay died at Hasting on 18th April, 1958.