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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - fish box labels
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_142
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1549
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - fish box labels

This image shows two labels which would have been fixed to boxes of live fish which were sent from the Isle of Skye to merchants on the mainland. The top label is the more recent one, showing the return address as The West Highland Salmon Fisheries Ltd. This company operated on Skye between 1944 and 1962. The lower label, indicating the contents as 'Fresh Salmon' was going to Barber & Son, one of the many merchants in the fish market at Billingsgate in London. The empty box was to be returned to A Powrie, Portree, Isle of Skye. Powrie had the salmon fishing lease out of Portree before selling the business to James Banks of the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co.

The salmon, grilse and trout were collected from the various fishing stations on Skye and Raasay and kept in the ice house at the pier in Portree until ready for shipment. The fish would be packed in boxes and sent usually by boat to Kyle of Lochalsh for onward shipment by rail. James Banks shipped fish to wholesale merchants for onward sale, and also sent fish to individual households. Receipt of a shipment of fish would usually be acknowledged by telegram.


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. - fish box labels

1940s

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

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

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

This image shows two labels which would have been fixed to boxes of live fish which were sent from the Isle of Skye to merchants on the mainland. The top label is the more recent one, showing the return address as The West Highland Salmon Fisheries Ltd. This company operated on Skye between 1944 and 1962. The lower label, indicating the contents as 'Fresh Salmon' was going to Barber & Son, one of the many merchants in the fish market at Billingsgate in London. The empty box was to be returned to A Powrie, Portree, Isle of Skye. Powrie had the salmon fishing lease out of Portree before selling the business to James Banks of the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co.<br /> <br /> The salmon, grilse and trout were collected from the various fishing stations on Skye and Raasay and kept in the ice house at the pier in Portree until ready for shipment. The fish would be packed in boxes and sent usually by boat to Kyle of Lochalsh for onward shipment by rail. James Banks shipped fish to wholesale merchants for onward sale, and also sent fish to individual households. Receipt of a shipment of fish would usually be acknowledged by telegram.<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 />