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West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Request for a certificate to purchase oilskins

For many years after World War ll, certain goods were in short supply and were rationed. The sea salmon fishing business run by James Banks in Portree was affected by this when purchasing such things as rubber boots, oilskins and thermos flasks. This letter from the Fisheries Division of the Scottish Home Department was in reply to Banks's request to purchase rubber boots and oilskins. Banks employed up to 35 people each year at the fishing stations around Skye and Raasay. As part of their employment contract, Banks provided each of his workers with new rubber boots and oilskins. The Fisheries Division would send a certificate to Banks detailing the number of boots and oilskins Banks was allowed and Banks would give this to the merchant. Banks was also required to provide the department with the names and addresses of the fishermen who received the goods.

For the 1948 salmon fishing season, Banks requested 32 pairs of rubber boots and 32 oilskin coats. Further correspondence shows that there was difficulty in getting this quantity. The wholesale merchant, William Patterson & Son, in Dundee wrote in May to say that 19 pair of boots had been despatched. He also noted they were not Dunlop boots but North British manufacture. Also, instead of the usual black boot, they were 'white Special Fishermen's boots'. There also was a problem getting the correct sizes ordered by Banks. In August of that year, Patterson wrote again to Banks informing him that purchase of footwear were now coupon free, which meant Banks would no longer have to apply for certificates to purchase them.


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. - Request for a certificate to purchase oilskins

19401s

fishing industry; commercial fishing; salmon fishing; trout fishing; net fishing; rationing; Second World War; rubber rationing; rationing coupons; ration certificates; war; wholesale; oilskins

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

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

For many years after World War ll, certain goods were in short supply and were rationed. The sea salmon fishing business run by James Banks in Portree was affected by this when purchasing such things as rubber boots, oilskins and thermos flasks. This letter from the Fisheries Division of the Scottish Home Department was in reply to Banks's request to purchase rubber boots and oilskins. Banks employed up to 35 people each year at the fishing stations around Skye and Raasay. As part of their employment contract, Banks provided each of his workers with new rubber boots and oilskins. The Fisheries Division would send a certificate to Banks detailing the number of boots and oilskins Banks was allowed and Banks would give this to the merchant. Banks was also required to provide the department with the names and addresses of the fishermen who received the goods. <br /> <br /> For the 1948 salmon fishing season, Banks requested 32 pairs of rubber boots and 32 oilskin coats. Further correspondence shows that there was difficulty in getting this quantity. The wholesale merchant, William Patterson & Son, in Dundee wrote in May to say that 19 pair of boots had been despatched. He also noted they were not Dunlop boots but North British manufacture. Also, instead of the usual black boot, they were 'white Special Fishermen's boots'. There also was a problem getting the correct sizes ordered by Banks. In August of that year, Patterson wrote again to Banks informing him that purchase of footwear were now coupon free, which meant Banks would no longer have to apply for certificates to purchase them.<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>