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TITLE
Gutting the herring
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_FISHERGIRLS_04
DATE OF RECORDING
1984
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1943
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.

'Ye see, it wis special knives we hid and everyone hid their name on their knife. An then when ye split the herrin ye put it in at the back fin, put it in that way, took it above the bone, took it up to the head an cracked it, an took it down to the tail an opened it. An then you took the gill an the gut out, an you had a thing for throwin it in an that was taken away then - the herrin was put in a basket - and then the washer that was doin the herrin, he took it an washed them, as Ah told ye, an put it in the pickle'

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Gutting the herring

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 /> 'Ye see, it wis special knives we hid and everyone hid their name on their knife. An then when ye split the herrin ye put it in at the back fin, put it in that way, took it above the bone, took it up to the head an cracked it, an took it down to the tail an opened it. An then you took the gill an the gut out, an you had a thing for throwin it in an that was taken away then - the herrin was put in a basket - and then the washer that was doin the herrin, he took it an washed them, as Ah told ye, an put it in the pickle'