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TITLE
Cromarty Fisher Folk (13 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CROMARTYFISHER_AUDIO_13
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
DATE OF RECORDING
2 April 2007
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bobby Hogg & Gordon Hogg
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1138
KEYWORDS
language
linguistics
audio

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The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698.

Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.

[N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]


In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon talk about 'following the herring'.

Interviewer: Was it just the young lassies that went away to Yarmouth or was -

Gordon: No, no

Interviewer: - the wives?

Gordon: The wives.

Interviewer: Wives went?

Gordon: Wives went too, oh yes.

Bobby: Ma mother was at Yarmouth.

Gordon: Aye, she was at Yarmouth.

Bobby: Ma mother was at Lerwick too. Up there too. Yes, yes. Followed the -

Gordon: Followed the herring.

Bobby: - followed the fishing about, like. That was the traditional way. The herring was a seasonal thing, right? An the summer fishin startin, was startin in the north of Scotland, right? They work all summer at the herring fishing.

Gordon: Ah there wasn't, wasnae such a thing as good old days.

Bobby: Yeah, then they would move -

Gordon: Not in that Cromarty anyway.

Bobby: - move down to Yarmouth like, an the folk would foll-, the gutters an the packers an all the rest of it like, follow them down to Yarmouth.

Interviewer: A hard life.

Bobby: Hard life, yeh. They got paid so much a barrel, ye know, but - an there's four in a crew, ye know, ye know? Packers an - three in a crew an they'd be doin packin an - two guttin an one packin like - an they got so much a barrel.

Gordon: Aye, sweeties.

Bobby: Yeh. If they'd a good fishin they were gonnae do all right, but if they'd a poor fishin they'd be practically broke again. Yeh. But Ah remember after the war, when the war finished, Second World War finished, Ah was workin in Buckie, an they start-, an they went back to the herrin fishin again, it was come on, the whole, the whole lot went to Yarmouth when they went. Special trains taking people down to Yarmouth, right?

Gordon: That's right.

Bobby: Special trains - the minister an everybody went. The town was empty! You wouldnae hardly believe it, like, ye know? The whole industry, like, moved away. Amazing. An then when they come back they - all the men would be on the dole, like. But that was just the way of life. Some would succeed an some wouldn't, right? A lot o these girls from the Western Isles they, they went to Yarmouth an they went to Lerwick - an all over the places. Fraserburgh -

Gordon: They followed the herrin.

Bobby: - an Peterhead. They followed the fishin about.

Gordon: Followed the fishin

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Cromarty Fisher Folk (13 of 20)

ROSS: Cromarty

2000s

language; linguistics; audio

Am Baile

Am Baile: Cromarty Fisher Folk

The former royal burgh of Cromarty lies on the northern tip of the Black Isle peninsula, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth in northeast Scotland. It is home to brothers Bobby and Gordon Hogg, descendants of a long line of local fisher folk. They can trace their ancestry back for centuries in the small coastal port. In the 1861 census there were no less than 96 Hoggs living in the Cromarty district and an entry for the family name in the Old Parish Register dates back as early as 1698. <br /> <br /> Bobby and Gordon believe they are the last two fluent speakers of the 'Cromarty fisher dialect', a unique Scots dialect identified in Robert McColl Millar's study of 'Northern and Insular Scots' as 'North Northern A', mainly associated with the fishing communities of the Black Isle (Cromarty and Avoch) and other small towns and villages on the Cromarty Firth. It is said that at one time there were at least two, if not three, dialects in the Cromarty area - fisher, town, and farmer. While several Cromarty residents retain aspects of the fisher vocabulary, when Bobby and Gordon get together they converse fluently in the dialect.<br /> <br /> [N.B. Gordon Hogg passed away in 2011, aged 86. Bobby Hogg died a year later, aged 92.]<br /> <br /> <br /> In this audio extract from March 2007, Bobby and Gordon talk about 'following the herring'.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Was it just the young lassies that went away to Yarmouth or was - <br /> <br /> Gordon: No, no <br /> <br /> Interviewer: - the wives?<br /> <br /> Gordon: The wives.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Wives went?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Wives went too, oh yes. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Ma mother was at Yarmouth.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, she was at Yarmouth.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ma mother was at Lerwick too. Up there too. Yes, yes. Followed the - <br /> <br /> Gordon: Followed the herring.<br /> <br /> Bobby: - followed the fishing about, like. That was the traditional way. The herring was a seasonal thing, right? An the summer fishin startin, was startin in the north of Scotland, right? They work all summer at the herring fishing.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Ah there wasn't, wasnae such a thing as good old days. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Yeah, then they would move -<br /> <br /> Gordon: Not in that Cromarty anyway.<br /> <br /> Bobby: - move down to Yarmouth like, an the folk would foll-, the gutters an the packers an all the rest of it like, follow them down to Yarmouth.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: A hard life.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Hard life, yeh. They got paid so much a barrel, ye know, but - an there's four in a crew, ye know, ye know? Packers an - three in a crew an they'd be doin packin an - two guttin an one packin like - an they got so much a barrel.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, sweeties. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Yeh. If they'd a good fishin they were gonnae do all right, but if they'd a poor fishin they'd be practically broke again. Yeh. But Ah remember after the war, when the war finished, Second World War finished, Ah was workin in Buckie, an they start-, an they went back to the herrin fishin again, it was come on, the whole, the whole lot went to Yarmouth when they went. Special trains taking people down to Yarmouth, right? <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's right.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Special trains - the minister an everybody went. The town was empty! You wouldnae hardly believe it, like, ye know? The whole industry, like, moved away. Amazing. An then when they come back they - all the men would be on the dole, like. But that was just the way of life. Some would succeed an some wouldn't, right? A lot o these girls from the Western Isles they, they went to Yarmouth an they went to Lerwick - an all over the places. Fraserburgh -<br /> <br /> Gordon: They followed the herrin.<br /> <br /> Bobby: - an Peterhead. They followed the fishin about.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Followed the fishin