East

Scottish Fisheries MuseumThe east of Scotland extends from Berwickshire to Edinburgh through Fife, Angus, and Aberdeenshire, to Moray, Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness. While many uses were made of baskets in this region, it was especially well-known for its fishing baskets, used both in catching and selling fish. Baskets were made for a multitude of tasks linked to fishing, from gathering whelks and mussels for bait, to setting fishing lines for white fishing, to carrying and measuring herring, to transporting and displaying fish when fishwives sold fish door to door. Each community's baskets for these tasks had their own characteristic shapes and forms, and often unique regional names.See also Cromarty

Museums in the East region

Scottish Fisheries Museum

Arbroath Signal Tower Museum Leith Customs House Museum, Edinburgh Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

See Back Creels of the East Coast Fishwife

Finely woven east coast creel made from buff willow. Highland Folk Museum

This includes information on what we know generally of these creels and a gallery of East Coast creels Back Creel of the East Coast Fishwife Gallery of East Coast back creels

To the Creel. Fisherrow Fishwives and their baskets.

Margaret Fairnie in working clothes. Fisherrow fishwife.

Women of Fisherrow, as wives, daughters and widows of the men who fished the seas, made their own independent living selling fish house to house on the streets of Edinburgh. Fisherrow is now an integral part of the town of …Continue reading “To the Creel. Fisherrow Fishwives and their baskets.”

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”

Ceramic Fishwives of the Forth Littoral

Ceramic fishwives, National Museum of Scotland

From about 1750 until the 1930s Scotland’s potteries were producing utilitarian and decorative wares including fishermen and fisherwives.Continue reading “Ceramic Fishwives of the Forth Littoral”

Arbroath rip

Arbroath rip from NMS collection. Liz Balfour's account

The Arbroath rip, Liz Balfour’s account The Arbroath rip was used by fisherwomen, carried on their backs for selling fish. It was never used at the harbour, but on women’s fish selling rounds or in the market. Rips are bigger …Continue reading “Arbroath rip”

Betty McBay, Johnshaven fishwife

Johnshaven Fishwife

In the 19C and well into the 20C it was common for fisherwomen to make a living by ‘hawking’ fish. That meant they would sell fish from door to door. They carried the fish in great baskets and usually had …Continue reading “Betty McBay, Johnshaven fishwife”