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TITLE
Bayfield, Portree
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_054
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1950s; 1960s
CREATOR
James/David Banks
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
13110
KEYWORDS
anchor
net
bag net
salmon
industry
Bayfield
coble
boat registration
MacLeod
Nicolson
Banks
Bayfield, Portree

This photograph shows some of the employees of James Banks, owner of sea salmon fishing rights around Skye from the mid-1940s to the early 1960s. Bayfield, Portree was the main base of operations. This is where James Banks lived and where boats, nets and equipment were stored in sheds over the winter months. This photograph was probably taken in the spring when the crews were getting everything ready for the season.

The boat shown here, the 'Marie', was a clinker-built coble. This design of boat featured high bows and flat bottoms. This made them solid and stable in the seas off the islands and they could be easily manoeuvred around the rocky shorelines of the coast. They were designed for rowing with two or four oars although they often had an engine. The propeller was housed in the hull to avoid snagging the nets.

The 'Marie' was built in Aberdeen in 1932. She worked out of Oban before being brought to Portree for the salmon fishing. She had a 7.3 metre keel and a 15hp Kelvin Ricardo engine. The BRD458 registration was cancelled in March 1986.

The young girl pictured is Mary Ann Nicolson, whose father was one of the fishermen. Standing left of Mary Ann is Angus MacLeod.


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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Bayfield, Portree

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s; 1960s

anchor; net; bag net; salmon; industry; Bayfield; coble; boat registration; MacLeod; Nicolson; Banks

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

David Banks: West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd

This photograph shows some of the employees of James Banks, owner of sea salmon fishing rights around Skye from the mid-1940s to the early 1960s. Bayfield, Portree was the main base of operations. This is where James Banks lived and where boats, nets and equipment were stored in sheds over the winter months. This photograph was probably taken in the spring when the crews were getting everything ready for the season. <br /> <br /> The boat shown here, the 'Marie', was a clinker-built coble. This design of boat featured high bows and flat bottoms. This made them solid and stable in the seas off the islands and they could be easily manoeuvred around the rocky shorelines of the coast. They were designed for rowing with two or four oars although they often had an engine. The propeller was housed in the hull to avoid snagging the nets. <br /> <br /> The 'Marie' was built in Aberdeen in 1932. She worked out of Oban before being brought to Portree for the salmon fishing. She had a 7.3 metre keel and a 15hp Kelvin Ricardo engine. The BRD458 registration was cancelled in March 1986.<br /> <br /> The young girl pictured is Mary Ann Nicolson, whose father was one of the fishermen. Standing left of Mary Ann is Angus MacLeod.<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><br />