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Helmsdale Fishing Village 1890: The Herring Boom, Transatlantic Slave Trade & Gutting Girls: Anne Coombs

Thursday 6 August 2020

Facebook Live Event

Join Timespan and the Open Virtual Worlds team for a virtual tour of the historic fishing village of Helmsdale, in East Sutherland, at the height of the great herring boom in 1890. The harbour was built in c.1815 by the Sutherland landowners as part of their estate ‘improvements’ at the time of the Highland Clearances.

Research Archaeologist, Anne Coombs, will give an account of the gendered labour of the fishing industry and the working lives of the herring gutters, the women and girls who followed the herring from port to port along the east coast.

The herring industry trade was inseparable from Scotland’s colonial history in the West Indies and we’ll discuss how the local fishing industry supported the transatlantic slave trade.

The virtual reconstruction includes a row of curing yards along Shore Street, Fifie fishing boats and groups of gutters in action.

The live streaming link will follow soon.