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Fishing boats arriving at Wick Harbour

This postcard shows fishing boats arriving at Wick Harbour in Caithness.

In 1768, Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster built a quay at Wick in order to promote the town as a herring fishing centre. Progress was made through the intervention of the British Fisheries Society, harbour improvements made by Thomas Telford in 1810 and the building of an additional pier in 1831. The industry reached its peak between 1860 and 1890, when as many as 1000 boats were based at the harbour.

The fishing boats employed around 6000 fishermen and provided work for an additional 6000 workers, including women who gutted, salted and layered the herring. Failure to attempt to conserve stock contributed to the herring being fished out by the early 1900s. By 1930 less than 30 fishing boats remained at the harbour

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Fishing boats arriving at Wick Harbour

CAITHNESS: Wick

1890s

fishing industry; herring; Sir John Ulbster; British Fisheries Society; Thomas Telford; fishing boats; postcards; harbours; port; ports; quays; piers; herring girls; fisher women; fisherwomen; fisher girls

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows fishing boats arriving at Wick Harbour in Caithness.<br /> <br /> In 1768, Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster built a quay at Wick in order to promote the town as a herring fishing centre. Progress was made through the intervention of the British Fisheries Society, harbour improvements made by Thomas Telford in 1810 and the building of an additional pier in 1831. The industry reached its peak between 1860 and 1890, when as many as 1000 boats were based at the harbour.<br /> <br /> The fishing boats employed around 6000 fishermen and provided work for an additional 6000 workers, including women who gutted, salted and layered the herring. Failure to attempt to conserve stock contributed to the herring being fished out by the early 1900s. By 1930 less than 30 fishing boats remained at the harbour