Aberdeenshire accent: Jim describes the economic difficulties faced by the local fishing industry

Description

English

There is no transcript or commentary for this recording.

About the speaker 

Jim Slater (male; retired fisherman)

Transcript

Transcript

 

A:         [Inaudible 0:00:06].  The Second World War actually let the Government off the hook, actually.  There was so much unemployment and so much desperation.  Again, yes, so much how to live.  And when the war started, everybody got a job, you can understand that.  I went to the Navy and what have you, aye.  I’ll tell you what happened in the First World War, you wouldn’t have heard about this.  It was mostly Zulu sailboats at that time.  Your steam drifter was just coming into vogue in the early part of the 1900s, around about 1900, 1910.  That was the main time for the steam drifter.  But 1914 time they were all coming in, the sail boats was fishing all over the place.  And the drifters, of course.  There was a lot of men from the West Highlands, Highlandmen, Highlandmen we used to call them, you see.  Now, they manned the boats, you see, and the local men and all.  Most of them were in the – oh, what do you call it – the reserve, the Naval Reserve, they were in the Naval Reserve.  They had to go away for a fortnight every year training, you see, and they got a retainer, a financial retainer, you see.  So it’s a great thing to – that time, to get this handy few pounds, you see.  Now, in 1914 there was so many men in this Naval Reserve that the boats were tied up, a whole fleet of boats was tied up for what they were meant to be going in.  Now, the men that were left, those that weren’t attached to the Naval Reserve, they sorted themselves out and manned the boats that were left, you see [laughs].  That’s the only way they could get the thing going.  Fraserburgh there was particularly struck with this Naval Reserve business, aye.  Och, aye.  And then the 1930s, as I say, were pretty tough, och, aye.  I was through it in a – just glad to get anything.  It seemed that the authorities were determined to starve you to death.  I was a small boat – a lifeboat working from Portsoy.  And we got the dole.  Aye, the share fisher – being share fishermen, we were a while afore they would allow us to get the unemployment benefit.  But eventually we got it, in a small kind of way for a start.  And I was in this boat working out of Portsoy, the lines.  And it came away, a long spell of bad weather.  I think it was two weeks at least we never got out, these south east storms and that.  We went to the dole to sign on, you see.  “Why are you signing on?”  You see, “Because we cannae get to sea.”  Now, our case was put to the Court of Referees, you see.  There was four of us in the boat.  Aye, four of us in the boat.  Our request was put to [inaudible 0:03:52] the Court of Referees, this is four businessmen.  And they decided our case, whether we were qualified or not, you see.  We went down to [inaudible 0:04:02 Bath] not entitled, not entitled, “You’re not available for work.” You see, “You’ve waiting to get to sea.” There we were.  We went to the Port Inspector, told him the situation.  We got a pound each on the condition we paid back before we started to – before we go to sea.  [Laughs] Now, between the fishings, one occasion between the fishings, I was working at a farm at Cowhythe.  Cowhythe they call it, up there, a fairly big farm.  It’s obsolete now, of course.  That was in 1930, up there between the summer season and the autumn season, you see, September.  And up there, and got a job there, a farm, another fellow and me, to do other work.  You hear there were work about the farm.  Just anything, you did anything, worked a horse if you was required, pulled neeps, as they called them, aye.  And sixpence an hour, two and a half pence, your present rate.  Dinner time was eleven to one.  So I walked home from there, down to Portsoy, a mile and a half, back for one o’clock [laughs].  I worked till six o’clock.  And no break, no midday break, fly cups.  You worked six till eleven and you worked one till six again.  Ten hours a day.  Thirty shillings for a sixty hour week.  And the only thing about this, we was glad to get it, you see, we were glad even to get that.

 

Title:
Aberdeenshire accent: Jim describes the economic difficulties faced by the local fishing industry
Date:
1999
Duration:
5:53
Format:
Sound recording
Language:
English
Copyright:
© BBC
Usage terms
Except as otherwise permitted by your national copyright laws this material may not be copied or distributed further.
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
C900/21004

Full catalogue details

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