Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Aberdeen Fish Managers of 1901

These eight men are those whose occupation included both the words 'Fish' and 'Manager':

Charles Catto, 52, Manager Fish Manure and Oil Works, Head, b. Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire
David L Crombie, 37, Manager Fish Manure Works, Head, 202 Victoria Road, b. Glasgow

John Watson, 29, Fishcurer Manager, Head, 97, Menzies Road, b. Dunbarton
Robert Manson, 25, Fishcurer (Manager), Head, 12 Menzies Road, b. Marnoch, Banffshire

John R Kendall, 27, Fish Merchants Manager, Head, 7 Bank Street, b. England

William Walker, 55, Manager Salmon Fishing, Head, 9 Fish Street, b. Porthleven, Kincardineshire
John Kerr, 26, Manager (Herring Fishing), Boarder, 12 Millburn Street, b. Stornoway, Ross-shire

James Murray, 40, Manager (Fisherman), Head, 40 Walker Road, b. St Monans, Fife

I was surprised to find so few men in managerial roles associated with the fishing. It is possible that other managers did not specify that they were involved in the fishing industry, but I consider that unlikely.

The first four records are self-explanatory and remind us of all the onshore processing involved. The remaining four are slightly less clear:

Was John R Kendall managing one particular merchant's interests or did he have authority over all the merchants? If the former, it is odd that we do not see more men doing the same?

William Walker appears to be managing Salmon Fishing but does this mean that he his role was to oversea the salmon fishery too? The same goes for John Kerr, my grandfather, but for Herring. John is easily spotted for his is the only 'G&E' entry in an otherwise blank column requesting whether people spoke Gaelic.

James Murray's role is equally perplexing and, without knowing exactly how the fishing industry was organised in Aberdeen at this time it is unclear what his management duties involved.

In John's case, my aunt's birth certificate of 1905 records him as a 'Fish Salesman' and (as it contains his florid signature crossing the boundary into the previous record!) I can assume that he gave that description in person. He repeated the description, and his ignoring of the narrow-ruled form, when he signed my father's birth certificate a year later. When my second aunt was born in 1908, he was a 'Superintendent of Fisheries (Congested Districts Board, Ireland)' , for which role he had to be a Cooper, and it was my grandmother who signed the certificate in his absence

 She kept within the lines...

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