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TITLE
Cromarty Fisher Folk (18 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CROMARTYFISHER_AUDIO_18
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
1146
KEYWORDS
language
linguistics
ships
vessels
boats
Royal Navy
World War II
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 remember the tragedy of the 'Disperser', a local salvage vessel which had been sent north to Scapa Flow by the Admiralty in April 1940. The vessel sank during a storm off Orkney and all twelve hands were drowned, including six Cromarty men.

Interviewer: The 'Disperser'?

Gordon: 'Disperser', aye.

Bobby: Ah yes, that was a different s-

Gordon: She was sunk, yea.

Bobby: She lost durin the war. Lost durin the war.

Gordon: That's right, aye.

Bobby: She was a salvage boat, right?

Interviewer: Lot a men from Cromarty?

Bobby: Aw yea, there was twelve, I think there was twelve altogether, wernae? Not quite sure. A few Cromarty men.

Gordon: Ah know there were five or six from Cromarty, cos they were all buried on a Sunday, too, on the same day.

Interviewer: Alexander Shepherd,

Gordon: Aye.

Interviewer: Douglas Shepherd.

Gordon: That's right.

Bobby: He was in the school - same class as me in school.

Gordon: Same class in the school.

Interviwer: Mm-hmm. Andrew and Charles Watson.

Gordon: Aye.

Bobby: Charlie Watson.

Gordon: Charlie Watson.

Bobby: He lived just roon the corner from me. She was eh, sunk up in the Orkneys, right? But she -

Gordon: No, she was not, she was not far as that, no she -

Bobby: No, she wasn't far from the beach.

Gordon: No but, she wasna near the Orkneys. Ah says, no, she was only up on the east coast there somewhere, she was goin the mainland here, when she sank.

Bobby: No, no, no. No, no, no, no. Thee got it wrong. She sank up in the Orkneys, right? Right? An they reckoned it - she's a very, very low vessel, right - an they reckoned they didnae have the hatches on.

Gordon: That's right, aye.

Bobby: A gale o wind. She sank up there - wait a minute now - speakin Angie the Bobby. Angie the Bobby, he was in the war, an he told me that he was lyin alongside -

Gordon: Was he?

Bobby: - alongside that one,

Gordon: Aye

Bobby: - when she sank.

Gordon: Aye.

Bobby: There's no lights there in the mornin.

Gordon: No, no.

Bobby: Right? A gale o wind, right?

Gordon: Aye, aye.

Bobby: He never thought Ah was gonna end up in Cromarty, right? He was there at the time. It was a big blow for Cromarty, right enough.

Gordon: Oh, aye, a terrible thing.

Bobby: Ma brother was employed on her before she went up to the Orkneys, an ma uncle was employed on her, right, right, before she went up to the Orkneys. An one said to the other 'She's no safe, this thing, she's no safe. She's no got - ', an they left her, an then she was lost. They were seamen, like. Mm-hmm.

Gordon: They knew what they were talkin about.

Bobby: Oh, Ah heard both o them sayin that.

Gordon: Aye, aye.

Bobby: 'Better thee get ashore', he says, 'Get thee gear ashore outa here.'

Gordon: Oh aye, she wasna, she wasna a safe one anyway.

Bobby: No, no. Well, they, they realised it all right. Oh, ye get these fellas that werna long-term fishermen an seamen without no kennin something.

Gordon: Aye.

Bobby: Mm-hmm.

Gordon: That's true

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Cromarty Fisher Folk (18 of 20)

ROSS: Cromarty

2000s

language; linguistics; ships; vessels; boats; Royal Navy; World War II; 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 remember the tragedy of the 'Disperser', a local salvage vessel which had been sent north to Scapa Flow by the Admiralty in April 1940. The vessel sank during a storm off Orkney and all twelve hands were drowned, including six Cromarty men.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: The 'Disperser'?<br /> <br /> Gordon: 'Disperser', aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ah yes, that was a different s-<br /> <br /> Gordon: She was sunk, yea.<br /> <br /> Bobby: She lost durin the war. Lost durin the war.<br /> <br /> Gordon: That's right, aye. <br /> <br /> Bobby: She was a salvage boat, right?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Lot a men from Cromarty?<br /> <br /> Bobby: Aw yea, there was twelve, I think there was twelve altogether, wernae? Not quite sure. A few Cromarty men.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Ah know there were five or six from Cromarty, cos they were all buried on a Sunday, too, on the same day.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Alexander Shepherd,<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Douglas Shepherd.<br /> <br /> Gordon: That's right.<br /> <br /> Bobby: He was in the school - same class as me in school.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Same class in the school.<br /> <br /> Interviwer: Mm-hmm. Andrew and Charles Watson.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Charlie Watson. <br /> <br /> Gordon: Charlie Watson.<br /> <br /> Bobby: He lived just roon the corner from me. She was eh, sunk up in the Orkneys, right? But she - <br /> <br /> Gordon: No, she was not, she was not far as that, no she - <br /> <br /> Bobby: No, she wasn't far from the beach.<br /> <br /> Gordon: No but, she wasna near the Orkneys. Ah says, no, she was only up on the east coast there somewhere, she was goin the mainland here, when she sank.<br /> <br /> Bobby: No, no, no. No, no, no, no. Thee got it wrong. She sank up in the Orkneys, right? Right? An they reckoned it - she's a very, very low vessel, right - an they reckoned they didnae have the hatches on. <br /> <br /> Gordon: That's right, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: A gale o wind. She sank up there - wait a minute now - speakin Angie the Bobby. Angie the Bobby, he was in the war, an he told me that he was lyin alongside -<br /> <br /> Gordon: Was he?<br /> <br /> Bobby: - alongside that one, <br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye<br /> <br /> Bobby: - when she sank. <br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: There's no lights there in the mornin.<br /> <br /> Gordon: No, no.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Right? A gale o wind, right?<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: He never thought Ah was gonna end up in Cromarty, right? He was there at the time. It was a big blow for Cromarty, right enough.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Oh, aye, a terrible thing.<br /> <br /> Bobby: Ma brother was employed on her before she went up to the Orkneys, an ma uncle was employed on her, right, right, before she went up to the Orkneys. An one said to the other 'She's no safe, this thing, she's no safe. She's no got - ', an they left her, an then she was lost. They were seamen, like. Mm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Gordon: They knew what they were talkin about. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Oh, Ah heard both o them sayin that.<br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye, aye.<br /> <br /> Bobby: 'Better thee get ashore', he says, 'Get thee gear ashore outa here.' <br /> <br /> Gordon: Oh aye, she wasna, she wasna a safe one anyway.<br /> <br /> Bobby: No, no. Well, they, they realised it all right. Oh, ye get these fellas that werna long-term fishermen an seamen without no kennin something. <br /> <br /> Gordon: Aye. <br /> <br /> Bobby: Mm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Gordon: That's true