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

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

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If you have contributions to make to the knowledge base and photographic archives on any of the topics on this page, they would be most welcome.  Please contact archivist@newhavenonforth.org.uk

If you have contributions to make to the knowledge base and photographic archives on any of the topics on this page, they would be most welcome.


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We flitted to Newhaven, ‘up the Raw’ was such a  change,

Because those ‘Bow-tow’s’ spoke a language that sounded very strange.

They use to call us ‘furrenners’ , in a tongue we’d never heard,

“Awa  ye gang hame ower the brig",  our feelings were not spared.

But when I made some new pals the friendships they did gel

I found they were the same as us, and  played our street games well,

‘Kick-the can’, and  ‘chain tig’ where everyone would  hide,

‘Leavoy’ , and the ‘cuddy whechts’  and  ‘fitba five-a-side’.

Getting a  'he-a-hoy” on lorries, the drivers always kent.

That we were hinging on the back as they went slowly roond the bend,

Lassies playing ‘skippies’, singing  verses all in  rhyme,

Playin ‘Dodgie’ with a tennis ball, that was soaking wet with grime,

And if it hit you on the leg, it almost left you lame,

But you rubbed it, and forgot the pain, and went on with the game.

Playing ‘bools’ with ‘glassie’s’, or with  ‘steelies’ from your bags,

And ‘droppies’ with the ‘ciggie cards’ from men that smoked the fags.

We all attended Vickie school, the only one around,

And if you won a bursary.  you went to Trinity’s hallowed ground.  

Auld Dykes, he owned a Fyfie, an open fishing smack,

He trawled for herrings in the Forth, and to the Market sold his catch.

In Joe Croan’s roond the Halley, herrings were gutted, dipped in vats,,

And lassies, red up tae there elbows, put the herrings  on the slats,   

Then hung them on the tenter hooks and they were smoked all through the night .

And when the kippers came oot gleaming red, they were  a bonnie  sight.

The fishwives loaded up their creels and  sold fish from their stall,

And as they sold their ‘pawkle’, you could  hear their haunting call

“Wha’ll buy ma caller herrin'?”  in voices sounding hoarse

 “They’re awfy  bonnie  herrin', new drawn oot frae the Forth”

All gather at the lighthouse we dared creep aroond the ledge, of course

Ye had tae watch yer every step  or you  fell  into  the Forth

But the ‘Bow-tows’ are now history, 'cause they bull-dozed all their homes,

Now all the incomers have are stories, kept in massive treasured tomes.

Up the Raw

The picture shows the small single end we lived in at New Lane known as ‘Up the Raw’.  The first upstairs window on the left was our little flat and at the top of the  stair the black door was the ‘lavvy’ which was shared.  They were days I shall never forget.

Peter Sellars 1998

A Poem by Peter Sellars