NEWHAVEN — A  UNIQUE FISHING VILLAGE ON THE COAST OF THE FORTH, PROUD OF ITS TRADITIONS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Supported by NEWHAVEN HERITAGE CENTRE which is recognised as a Scottish registered charity No. SC044837

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Fisherfolk

The people of Newhaven had a reputation for independence and insularity.  This self-imposed bias was not without good reason: life as a fisherman or as a fishwife was arduous and demanding.  Quite apart from the obvious danger experienced by those who went to sea, work continued long after the men came ashore.  In the early hours of the day, the lassies and wives went out to collect mussels and, upon their return, spend hours preparing the fishing lines by baiting up to a thousand hooks with the mussels.  The fishwives took their catch off their menfolk, gutted and prepared the fish and then tramped the road up to Edinburgh to sell their fare. Neither wonder, then, that marrying outside the village was viewed with caution, at best, and even with contempt on occasion.

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Fishwives at Newhaven market 1890


Black and white negative; good condition; fishwives at Newhaven market on harbour pier; baskets of fish and dog in foreground; masts of fishing boats in background.


Picture courtesy of Edinburgh City Libraries and Museums —

www.capitalcollections.org.uk