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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - claim to British Rail for lost fish, 1953
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_115
DATE OF IMAGE
1 October 1953
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1450
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
rail companies
British Railways
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - claim to British Rail for lost fish, 1953

Salmon from the Isle of Skye was shipped by rail to wholesalers and individuals all over Great Britain and there were occasions when part of the shipment would be damaged or go missing. These documents show the paperwork for processing a claim from British Rail. The letter written on 1 October 1953 refers to a claim by James Banks for consignments despatched from Skye in late July of that year. The claim for the box sent to fish merchants Edward Walker of Newhaven, Edinburgh is being met by British Rail but the claim for the other two boxes sent to merchants E. Barker & Son and Messrs Grant & May of Billingsgate, London was to be directed to Perth as Mallaig came under a different jurisdiction.

On the left is the receipt, dated of 17 October 1953, which was sent along with a cheque for compensation for the lost boxes. The reverse of this document shows the reference number, date of claim 30 July, and a brief description - 'Salmon - Missing in transit. (Salvaged at Euston)' and the amount paid to James Banks at £50 13s 1d'.

No doubt pleased to have full compensation for that particular consignment, these transactions took time, and until resolved would affect everyday cash flow.


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. - claim to British Rail for lost fish, 1953

1950s

fishing industry; commercial fishing; salmon fishing; trout fishing; net fishing; rail companies; British Railways

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

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

Salmon from the Isle of Skye was shipped by rail to wholesalers and individuals all over Great Britain and there were occasions when part of the shipment would be damaged or go missing. These documents show the paperwork for processing a claim from British Rail. The letter written on 1 October 1953 refers to a claim by James Banks for consignments despatched from Skye in late July of that year. The claim for the box sent to fish merchants Edward Walker of Newhaven, Edinburgh is being met by British Rail but the claim for the other two boxes sent to merchants E. Barker & Son and Messrs Grant & May of Billingsgate, London was to be directed to Perth as Mallaig came under a different jurisdiction. <br /> <br /> On the left is the receipt, dated of 17 October 1953, which was sent along with a cheque for compensation for the lost boxes. The reverse of this document shows the reference number, date of claim 30 July, and a brief description - 'Salmon - Missing in transit. (Salvaged at Euston)' and the amount paid to James Banks at £50 13s 1d'. <br /> <br /> No doubt pleased to have full compensation for that particular consignment, these transactions took time, and until resolved would affect everyday cash flow. <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>