And I’ll tell you something else that they were doing, the people, when someone happened to be in the village, these skiffs were not, they were always and so were the yawls when they were out, there was always one or two people in the village who were sick and could not go fishing, when they’d come ashore in the afternoon or perhaps at midday or at nightfall, when they would put the fish out of the boats on to the shore to be divided out maybe someone would say: “Oh, we will put fish aside for that person or for those people,” and instead of making three shares if there were only three people in the yawl they would make four shares or five shares so that those who could not go out fishing for themselves would receive some fish. That happened with the big skiffs also. Now, people in those days were helping each other in so many different ways at sea and on land, and there was no deprivation regarding people who could not help themselves. Those who were strong, able and resilient and willing, they had in mind the person who could not go out himself and get these things for himself. Again, I spent some time working at the fishing and did quite an amount of work, and I spent four or five years working at the salmon fishing but we called it trout fishing. Trout fishing was going on in Stenscholl Island and it went on in the Lealt and it went on in Ruig but there is none of it going on now for a few years. Every spring say the end of April, the last fortnight in April it started and you were trying to finish off the croft work and you were trying to cut the peats before that work started. And everyone who attended this fishing made a big effort to plant the potatoes, plant the corn and most of the peats would be cut in the last fortnight in April. Now, the fishing started and it kept you in work all summer until it finished at the end of August and you were going into a fortnight or three weeks of September before you were paid off. But at the same time you would manage to do the croft work, and you were doing this fishing work also.

  • Lachlan Gillies (Lachie)
Saturday 13th September 2008