Mid-August 2014: My daughter was working today so my wife and I headed back to Anstruther to checkout the Scottish Fisheries Museum. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The “story” was very well told and a reminder of how life was tough back in the day. It also describes the evolution of the fishing industry and the men and women who made it happen.
My Grandparents were islanders and lived in a croft one of the islands on the western side of Scotland and so it makes the history a bit more meaningful for me. I hadn’t appreciated how the Herring Industry evolved and that the Scottish fleets from this part of the coast used work out of Lowestoft during the herring fishing season (October to December). The men would fish and the women would gut and pack the herring. Here is some footage shot showing the herring harvest down at Lowestoft in the 1930.
We also had a good old chat with one of the the staff on the front desk. People think of Scots as dour, well they also like a chat. My Aunty Mary was notoriously chatty, not that she saw it like that. When she visited us in England, whether by train or plane she would have swapped all sorts of details with whoever she happened to be sitting by. When she became inform and had to had wheelchair assistance she was quite annoyed with one of the budget airlines because they stuck her at the back of the plane on her own. She preferred to travel with BA, except they didn’t fly to Stansted!
This time around we heard how pleasant a place St Andrews is to live and how she liked it being a student town as it made it a bit more lively. We also stopped in the Tea Room for a drink and a piece of cake after spending a couple of hours in the museum.
We had a wee stroll around Anstruther and passed a Bakers and Confectioners (G.H.Barnett) and despite not being hungry I couldn’t resist a macaroni pie, whilst my wife had a more traditional scotch pie. These are things that remind me of my childhood visits to Scotland. So of course I had to sample them, it would have been rude not to.
A Wee Scottish Snack
After that impromptu snack we decided to head on to Pittenweem. It is easy to view this part of the Scottish coastline as a picturesque tourist destination, but we shouldn’t forget that fishing is still an important activity and Pittenweem is one of the more active with a covered fish market.
The area use to produce salt with water collected and from the sea and evaporated in coal fired salt pans. This is St Monan’s Windmill and it was used to pump the sea water up to the pans.
St Monan’s Windmill
New Dawn – used for prawn fishing
Pittenweem Harbour – Fish Market in Background
Isle of May – seen from Pittenweem
Isle of May – seen from Pittenweem (so good I took anohter picture?)
St Andrews Coast
St Andrews – Castle along the East Scores