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TITLE
The 'Nereid' at Portree
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_026
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF IMAGE
1946
PERIOD
1940s
CREATOR
James/David Banks
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
13082
KEYWORDS
Nereid
boats
fishing
harbour
pier
anti-fouling
boat registration
steamers
harbour
The 'Nereid' at Portree

The larger boat on the right was named 'Nereid', after the Greek mythological sea nymphs renowned for keeping a watchful eye over sailors on perilous seas.

The 'Nereid' was built in Tarbert, Loch Fyne in 1925. Early registration was to Thomas Miller, Portree, Isle of Skye in 1931. She was sold to a Gairloch owner in 1944 and reregistered there. Then in 1946 she was purchased by James Banks and brought back to Portree for sea salmon fishing. She was reregistered under the Broadford number BRD334 and remained in use until 1982 when she was sold and taken to Belfast.

The smaller boat is an unnamed coble. Cobles were clinker-built, flat-bottomed and high-bowed boats. Their design made them perfect for the rough seas of the area but also easy to manoeuvre up onto the rocky shorelines. They were stable in the water when hauling nets and anchors and had plenty of space to keep the fish and equipment.

The cobles were used for the day to day work at the nets and salmon stations, while the 'Nereid' was the boat used to travel around to the different salmon stations bringing ice and supplies and uplifting the fresh salmon catch to take back to Portree. The 'Nereid' would go from Portree to the stations in Staffin one day, then the next day to the stations at Raasay.

This photograph shows the two different sized boats hauled up on the shoreline at Beaumont Crescent, Portree. The pier can be seen in the background. The crews were likely doing routine maintenance. The 'Nereid' has posts under the gunwale to keep the boat upright with the tide out. The hull of the 'Nereid' was scrubbed every two months and painted with anti-fouling to keep the boat in the best running order.



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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The 'Nereid' at Portree

INVERNESS: Portree

1940s

Nereid; boats; fishing; harbour; pier; anti-fouling; boat registration; steamers; harbour

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

David Banks: West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd

The larger boat on the right was named 'Nereid', after the Greek mythological sea nymphs renowned for keeping a watchful eye over sailors on perilous seas. <br /> <br /> The 'Nereid' was built in Tarbert, Loch Fyne in 1925. Early registration was to Thomas Miller, Portree, Isle of Skye in 1931. She was sold to a Gairloch owner in 1944 and reregistered there. Then in 1946 she was purchased by James Banks and brought back to Portree for sea salmon fishing. She was reregistered under the Broadford number BRD334 and remained in use until 1982 when she was sold and taken to Belfast.<br /> <br /> The smaller boat is an unnamed coble. Cobles were clinker-built, flat-bottomed and high-bowed boats. Their design made them perfect for the rough seas of the area but also easy to manoeuvre up onto the rocky shorelines. They were stable in the water when hauling nets and anchors and had plenty of space to keep the fish and equipment.<br /> <br /> The cobles were used for the day to day work at the nets and salmon stations, while the 'Nereid' was the boat used to travel around to the different salmon stations bringing ice and supplies and uplifting the fresh salmon catch to take back to Portree. The 'Nereid' would go from Portree to the stations in Staffin one day, then the next day to the stations at Raasay.<br /> <br /> This photograph shows the two different sized boats hauled up on the shoreline at Beaumont Crescent, Portree. The pier can be seen in the background. The crews were likely doing routine maintenance. The 'Nereid' has posts under the gunwale to keep the boat upright with the tide out. The hull of the 'Nereid' was scrubbed every two months and painted with anti-fouling to keep the boat in the best running order.<br /> <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>