The Royal Burgh of Cromarty is a small community on the Black Isle, on the south side of the Cromarty Firth. There has been a fishing community in Cromarty since at least the 17th century, and possibly earlier. According to Am Baile, the fishing community kept separate from the rest of the town, and had their own dialect. The images here are from a series taken around 1910 by William John Smith, a local resident. This is reflected in the quite relaxed attitude of his subjects.

The ‘Dyle’ Finlayson family in Cromarty

The ‘Dyle’ Finlayson family are sitting outside their home at 5 Shore Street, Cromarty. The fishermen are working at their lines, setting them on upturned sculls, or scoos, and platachs, or woven mats. Hanging on a stick, on the walls …Continue reading “The ‘Dyle’ Finlayson family in Cromarty”

Couple working together setting bait in Cromarty

William ‘Lairdie’ Finlayson and Maggie ‘Bolt’ Price, his wife, are working together in their yard, at 65 Gordon’s Lane, Cromarty setting baited lines into a scull. From the blurred images of their hands, its looks as if he is passing …Continue reading “Couple working together setting bait in Cromarty”

Blind Benjie Finlayson plays fiddle, with all the materials for making a line basket to his left

‘Blind Benjie’ Finlayson is playing fiddle, sitting with his father who baits lines, feeding them into a deep Cromarty-style line scull. A half-finished scull lies on the ground between them, while a bundle of the materials for making it,┬áprobably willows …Continue reading “Blind Benjie Finlayson plays fiddle, with all the materials for making a line basket to his left”

Longline baskets on the beach at Cromarty, c1910

Two fishermen work on the shore beside a boat, below the fishertown at Cromarty. Beside them are several sculls, or scoos, – line baskets.┬áThe small boats reflected the type of fishing and the sculls used, which was close to home. …Continue reading “Longline baskets on the beach at Cromarty, c1910”

Preparing mussels for bait, Cromarty 1910s

A fisherwoman is preparing mussels to use as bait in line fishing in Gordons Lane, Cromarty, around 1910. The mussels are in a large barrel before her, while behind her are what appear to be several deep sculls, ┬átypical of …Continue reading “Preparing mussels for bait, Cromarty 1910s”