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Fisherfolk Children

When I started work at eight years old I had to take a chair and climb on to the roof of our house, covering all the tiles with gutted and split salted fish to dry in
the warm sun. The yellow fish were smoked in our own hanging lum in the house. Apart from my father’s catch my mother bought much extra fish at Fraserburgh harbour; these were spread out on the rocks, from Broadsea shore to the Manshaven; the whole beach was white with salt fish. All the little loons and quinies had a lot of fun and daffin as they watched their charges. We were experts at stoning the marauding seagulls who would devour the newly salted fish. When we saw moisture on the rock it was time to turn the fish over, and threatening rain we gathered the whole cure under a tarpaulin. There were aye folk with tarry fingers who stole other people’s fish, but most were honest; and
there were the lazy who wanted to scrounge a living off others; if a person was old or sick or a widow with bairns it was your duty to help them out.

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