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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - letter regarding Skye Games, 1953
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_144
DATE OF IMAGE
12 August 1953
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1556
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
highland games
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - letter regarding Skye Games, 1953

This letter was sent by James Philp, a partner in the firm of Portree solicitors, MacDonald & Fraser, to James Banks, owner of sea salmon fisheries around Skye. It concerns the organisation of the annual Skye Games. Philp was trying to source some rope to mark off the 'grandstand area, etc' of the Games and given Banks's involvement in the fishing industry, he thought he would have plenty they could borrow.

The Skye Games were first staged in 1877 and are held in the spectacular setting of the Meall, often locally referred to as the Lump. In earliest days, the Games were part of the Skye Gathering but since World War II they have been organised separately.


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. - letter regarding Skye Games, 1953

1950s

fishing industry; commercial fishing; salmon fishing; trout fishing; net fishing; highland games

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

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

This letter was sent by James Philp, a partner in the firm of Portree solicitors, MacDonald & Fraser, to James Banks, owner of sea salmon fisheries around Skye. It concerns the organisation of the annual Skye Games. Philp was trying to source some rope to mark off the 'grandstand area, etc' of the Games and given Banks's involvement in the fishing industry, he thought he would have plenty they could borrow.<br /> <br /> The Skye Games were first staged in 1877 and are held in the spectacular setting of the Meall, often locally referred to as the Lump. In earliest days, the Games were part of the Skye Gathering but since World War II they have been organised separately.<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>