Fishwives Murlins/Top Creels/Bow Creels/Arm Creels

A half-round murlin, as used by Newhaven fishwife. National Museums of ScotlandThese are baskets used by fishwives of the east coast along with their back creels or rips. They were used to display a sample of fish to customers and usually to store a board and knife for gutting the fish. In the areas around Arbroath and Montrose where rips were used, the basket used had a handle so that it could be carried on the arm and was know as an arm creel or bow creel. In other areas of the East coast the basket was usually carried on top of the back creel and the handles were incorporated into the sides of the basket. Both styles of basket were sometimes known as a murlin.

What we know about murlins/topcreels/bow creels/arm creels

Phemie, an east coast fishwife, selling fish in Corstophine, early 1900s. Scottish Life Archive

On the East Coast of Scotland fishwives from the villages were responsible for selling the fish the men caught while out line fishing. When they went on their rounds selling these fish, or into large towns to set up stalls …Continue reading “What we know about murlins/topcreels/bow creels/arm creels”

Gallery of Murlins/Top Creels

A half-round murlin, as used by Newhaven fishwife. National Museums of Scotland

A collection of images of Murlins. In the archival images you can see them in use balanced on top of the fishwives back creels and in the collection of baskets at Anstruther Museum you will notice one to the left …Continue reading “Gallery of Murlins/Top Creels”