WEEKLY UPDATE SEPTEMBER 01, 2002
- As Of 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time: September 01, 2002
TOTAL - MEMBERSHIP: 325
TOTAL - MESSAGES: 1545
TOTAL - SURNAME ENTRIES IN DATABASES: 1161
TOTAL - MEMBERS ACT OF KINDNESS CLUB VOLUNTEERS: 11
TYPES OF FISHING BOATS ON THE EAST COAST OF SCOTLAND
The history of the type of fishing craft which was in use along the
east coast of Scotland prior to the middle of the last century is
obscure. The boats of the Shetlands and Orkneys are the only ones
which can be traced back further than the ones on the Scottish
mainland. As these islands formed part of Norwegian territory until
the middle of the 15th century, it is hardly surprising that their
boat design resembled that of their Scandinavian ancestor - the
Norwegian yawl or yole Boats like the Fair Isle Skiffs or the North
Isles Yoles, which were built until well into the 19th century, had
many features that were a reminder of the connections with the
In fact, all the boats which were later built on the east coast stem
from that tradition: "Generally speaking, [the type of boat found in
Fair Isle] extended southwards with gradually increasing variations
and developments, all along the east coast."
There were two main types of fishing boats that operated from
the harbours of the Scottish east coast in the last century: the
Skaffie or Scaffie and the Fifie. The Skaffie type was generally used
on the shores of the Moray Firth. It spread as far north as Wick and
could even be found on the Shetlands and Orkneys. The Skaffie
certainly proved to be a true Scottish boat which was designed to
meet the particular conditions of its range of use. Nevertheless, it
was an "obvious development from the boats of Norse origin."
The Fifie which originated on the shores of the Firth of
Forth was commonly employed in waters ranging from the Scottish-
English border up to Banff. It could also be found on the north side
of the Moray Firth, sometimes as far north as the Shetlands, although
this was the exception rather than the rule. Until the introduction
of steam vessels, "the Fifie was the most common type of Scottish
The Baldie constituted a smaller version of the Fifie. This
type of boat was mainly used for inshore fishing. It spread along the
whole length of the east coast but was especially frequent on the
Firth of Forth. Further north on the Moray Firth, it was referred to
as a skiff.
The first Zulu type boats appeared around 1880 on the Moray
Firth. They were a mixture of the Skaffies and the Fifies - the idea
being the production of "a fishing vessel which combined the best
qualities of each class." Soon after their introduction, they spread
across the entire coast. They were built up to 80 feet in length and
were, compared with a mere 65 feet of the largest Fifies, the largest
fishing craft employed on the east coast of Scotland in the last
century. Smaller Zulus for inshore fishing existed as well. They were
generally referred to as Zulu skiffs.
Steam vessels were introduced in 1871, but they were very slowly
adopted. At the turn of the century they were used particularly
for trawling. As they were bigger than the Fifies and even the Zulus,
a lot of space was required to accomodate them in the harbour. Ports
that fulfilled the necessary requirements soon evolved into large
centres to accomodate the new trawling method and attracted at the
same time fishermen from the surrounding villages.
Fishing vessels fitted with diesel engines gradually replaced
the sails of the boats after the First World War. When motor power
was first introduced, it was only used as an auxiliary to sail power.
However, motor fishing vessels finally took over "when the Danish
seine-net began to supersede lines from 1921 onwards."
Today, the old types of boats have all gone. Modern boats are
of similar design all along the coast, and typical local and regional
features have vanished. Nearly all the fishing boats today are
fiberglass constructions. They are usually named according to the
type of fishing they perform, e.g. creel boats, trawlers, etc.
Some informants could nevertheless still remember the old types of
boats when they were asked about them. The answers show a
distribution of the yawl and the Fifie all along the coast, which
corresponds to what was stated above. Coble (the pronunciation was
[kCbl]) was only given as an answer in Burnmouth (in addition to
yawl). It is a continuation of the coble type boat found by Elmer
along the north-east coast of England. Nobby and yawl were mentioned
in Gourdon. The informant (XVI) remarked that nobbies were "bigger
than yawls but otherwise just the same". Nobbies did not occur
further south but were listed by Elmer on the north-west coast of
England. According to Mather the smallest type of boats was called
baldie in the East Neuk of Fife (cf.above). Baldie was also mentioned
by informant XII.
All in all, we find a fairly uniform pattern concerning the old types
of boats in the area examined. Yawls (the small type of boats) were
employed all along the coast from Burnmouth to Gourdon. This was also
the home of the Fifies and Zulus which worked from harbours big
enough to accomodate them. In addition to this uniformity of boat
types, we find cobles (typical boats in the north-east of England) in
Burnmouth, marking this village out as the transitional point from
the "coble area" to the "yawl area". Baldies are boats which occur,
for the most part, in the East Neuk of Fife. The name baldie was
probably not only another expression for yawl (cf. Mather's view
above) but reflected a genuine difference of boat design. The
occurence of the nobby type in Gourdon is difficult to explain.
Perhaps some time in the past, fishermen from the north-west of
England, where this type of boat was at home, brought it to Gourdon.
ORIGINS OF STONEHAVEN ROADS & PLACES
Malcolm's Mount : Traditionally, the burial-place of Malcolm I of
Scotland: in fact, not so, but covering a Bronze-age burial cist.
Market Lane : Originally called Barrie's Close.
Martin Drive : Named after Kincardine County Councillor William
Cheyne Martin of Farrochie.
Mill O' Forest : Mill, farm; farm in the forest.
Taken on the evening of the 30th of March. This was the first census
to show the relationship between the individuals listed. Also listed
was marital status and parish or place of birth. Other information
was listed as follows:-
Name and surname of each person at the address
on the night of 30th March.
Their relationship to the head of the family.
Marital status (married, single, widow or widower)
The person's profession, occupation, or Rank
Where the person was born
Whether blind, deaf or dumb
MY WEEKLY REMINDERS:
Have you done a complete scan of your computer for viruses lately? If
not, now would be a good time to do one. And why not update your
Antivirus Program while you're at it, to help ensure that you're not
spreading any unwanted viruses to other members.
Do you have any interesting stories, unsolved mysteries, or extracts
from books or records that you would like to share with the members.
Drop me a line with the details and I'll highlight them in an
upcoming WEEKLY UPDATE.
Visit the SURNAME lists today, to check out the new additions or to
add some of your own to the list.
If you have ancestors who came from Stonehaven, check out our other
site, STONEHAVEN ROOTS, and see if they are listed. If they're not,
just fill out the REQUEST FORM on the Site and I will add them ASAP:
Will you be or have you changed your email address? Don't forget to
update your membership, so that we don't loose touch.
Are there too many emails coming your way from STONEHAVEN GENEALOGY?
Then why not switch your email setting from Individual Emails to
Daily Digest. This way you will only receive one email containing all
of the messages from that day. If your not sure how, just let me know
& I'll change your setting for you.
That's all for this week folks! Goodbye until next time!
Jim Allan, Moderator
Victoria, B.C. CANADA
ANESFHS Member 10387