The Ties That Bind
The life of fisher families was hard and unrelenting with the wives collecting mussels, baiting the lines, mending the nets and keeping house, while the men went to sea.The children were also involved in collecting mussels, special grass (to make sure the lines did not become tangled) and a variety of household tasks. During the herring season, women without families followed the fleet, working in teams of three gutting, salting and packing the herring. These women were known as the ‘Fisher Lassies’.
An area in Eyemouth Museum, that children are particularly drawn to, is the kitchen come living room which is as close a reconstruction as possible to that of a 19th century fisherman’s home. As the focal point of the house, it was used for eating, sleeping and working. All the artefacts on display illustrate the hardships encountered by a fisherman’s family on a daily basis.