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TITLE
Distributing the herring catch
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_FISHERGIRLS_03
DATE OF RECORDING
1984
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Chrissie Smith
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1941
KEYWORDS
fisher girls
fisher lassies
fishwives
kippers
kippering
audio

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Women played an important role in the fishing industry in Scotland; some were employed to bait lines but the majority worked at gutting and curing the catches. When the herring summer season finished at home many fisher lassies travelled down south to catch the autumn herring season in fishing ports like Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft. In this audio extract, a former Caithness fisher lassie recalls her 'kipperin' days. Her name is Chrissie Smith and she was recorded at Dalmore House Eventide Home (Alness) in 1984 as part of reminiscence classes run by the Workers Educational Association.

'When Ah started then till go till do the herrin, the boats went out at night. And they set - they put out their nets and they hid till wait till the morning till they pull them in. And they was motor boats, an drifters, and they hid big holes - och, it was as big as this room - and when they pulled their catch in, they put it in this hold, an then when all the catch was in, they came back intill e port. And then there was salesmen an curers waitin an then they sold the herrin. An it - there was four baskets that height - that was what they called a cran. An the curer bought the herrin, was taken up then till the yards an it was huge windows like that, an they was a bench here an the windows was always open and they used, they used'll put it in big wooden things like - they called it 'kits'. And they, they opened the windows an they poured this in, an if ye stood - you see there was a whole line, all the weemin, lassies - and every wan got their own share'

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Distributing the herring catch

1980s

fisher girls; fisher lassies; fishwives; kippers; kippering; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Fisher Lassies

Women played an important role in the fishing industry in Scotland; some were employed to bait lines but the majority worked at gutting and curing the catches. When the herring summer season finished at home many fisher lassies travelled down south to catch the autumn herring season in fishing ports like Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft. In this audio extract, a former Caithness fisher lassie recalls her 'kipperin' days. Her name is Chrissie Smith and she was recorded at Dalmore House Eventide Home (Alness) in 1984 as part of reminiscence classes run by the Workers Educational Association.<br /> <br /> 'When Ah started then till go till do the herrin, the boats went out at night. And they set - they put out their nets and they hid till wait till the morning till they pull them in. And they was motor boats, an drifters, and they hid big holes - och, it was as big as this room - and when they pulled their catch in, they put it in this hold, an then when all the catch was in, they came back intill e port. And then there was salesmen an curers waitin an then they sold the herrin. An it - there was four baskets that height - that was what they called a cran. An the curer bought the herrin, was taken up then till the yards an it was huge windows like that, an they was a bench here an the windows was always open and they used, they used'll put it in big wooden things like - they called it 'kits'. And they, they opened the windows an they poured this in, an if ye stood - you see there was a whole line, all the weemin, lassies - and every wan got their own share'