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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - sales receipt, July 1951
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_070
DATE OF IMAGE
28 July 1951
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1282
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - sales receipt, July 1951

The West Highland Salmon Fisheries Company sold fish - salmon, grilse (salmon returning to fresh water after a single winter at sea) and trout - to a number of buyers throughout Scotland and England. Always in demand, the fish caught off the Isle of Skye were shipped to various merchants and occasionally to individual households.

This receipt from July 1951 shows that 22 grilse and 3 trout, totalling 147 1/4 lb were sent to Edinburgh for sale by Edward Walker & Sons (Fishermen) Ltd. The fish would be shipped, generally by rail, to the merchant. The receipt also shows the extra costs in getting the fish to the wholesalers. The merchants took their commission, noted any boxes and packaging costs, freight charges and telegrams. Telegrams were the means of recording these transactions. In this case, Edwin Walker had the identity of 'Fish, Leith'. The fish merchant would confirm the quantity of fish received along with any problems (perhaps damage to fish or error in weights) to what had been noted by the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Company when sending the product from Skye. The official receipt would then be sent by post to West Highland Salmon Fisheries in Portree.


West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd
In 1944 James Banks & Sons, Perth bought the sea salmon fishing lease for the Kilmuir Estates, Skye from A Powrie & Co, and formed the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd to operate the lease. The company continued until 1962 when it was sold to Kenneth Matheson, Portree.

When Banks and Sons took over the lease there were fishing stations at Lealt, Rigg (Borreraig), Staffin, Portree, Camustianavaig, Balmeanach and Brochel Castle (on Raasay). In 1956, Balmeanach and Camustianavaig merged to become the Braes station, with three men employed, while the others usually had four-man crews. The company employed about 28 men each year with jobs being offered to the same men each season before new workers were hired.

The season began late April/early May and ran through to the end of August. Several men were also employed during the winter months to take ice down from the dam at Sluggans for storage at the ice house at Portree harbour. Each crew member would receive a contract with information on wages, proposed bonus scheme and work hours and were provided with oilskins and rubber boots.

The catch was divided into salmon, grilse and trout, with grilse numbers being the highest. The total annual catch was approximately 3000 fish in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A record high of nearly 10,000 fish were caught in 1957.


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West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - sales receipt, July 1951

1950s

fishing industry; commercial fishing; salmon fishing; trout fishing; net fishing

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

David Banks: West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd (documents)

The West Highland Salmon Fisheries Company sold fish - salmon, grilse (salmon returning to fresh water after a single winter at sea) and trout - to a number of buyers throughout Scotland and England. Always in demand, the fish caught off the Isle of Skye were shipped to various merchants and occasionally to individual households. <br /> <br /> This receipt from July 1951 shows that 22 grilse and 3 trout, totalling 147 1/4 lb were sent to Edinburgh for sale by Edward Walker & Sons (Fishermen) Ltd. The fish would be shipped, generally by rail, to the merchant. The receipt also shows the extra costs in getting the fish to the wholesalers. The merchants took their commission, noted any boxes and packaging costs, freight charges and telegrams. Telegrams were the means of recording these transactions. In this case, Edwin Walker had the identity of 'Fish, Leith'. The fish merchant would confirm the quantity of fish received along with any problems (perhaps damage to fish or error in weights) to what had been noted by the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Company when sending the product from Skye. The official receipt would then be sent by post to West Highland Salmon Fisheries in Portree. <br /> <br /> <br /> <b>West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd</b><br /> In 1944 James Banks & Sons, Perth bought the sea salmon fishing lease for the Kilmuir Estates, Skye from A Powrie & Co, and formed the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd to operate the lease. The company continued until 1962 when it was sold to Kenneth Matheson, Portree. <br /> <br /> When Banks and Sons took over the lease there were fishing stations at Lealt, Rigg (Borreraig), Staffin, Portree, Camustianavaig, Balmeanach and Brochel Castle (on Raasay). In 1956, Balmeanach and Camustianavaig merged to become the Braes station, with three men employed, while the others usually had four-man crews. The company employed about 28 men each year with jobs being offered to the same men each season before new workers were hired. <br /> <br /> The season began late April/early May and ran through to the end of August. Several men were also employed during the winter months to take ice down from the dam at Sluggans for storage at the ice house at Portree harbour. Each crew member would receive a contract with information on wages, proposed bonus scheme and work hours and were provided with oilskins and rubber boots. <br /> <br /> The catch was divided into salmon, grilse and trout, with grilse numbers being the highest. The total annual catch was approximately 3000 fish in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A record high of nearly 10,000 fish were caught in 1957. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com ">Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>