Monday, May 16, 2011


Here's a postcard I bought off eBay recently:-

It cost £6.50 plus p+p which is way beyond my normal price range but what made this one a "must have" was the little vignette of fishing history encapsulated in the message on the back.

Postmarked at Mallaig on 27 February 1927 and addressed from the SS Adequate (a steam powered fishing boat), the message reads:-

"Dear Bro. We had a hundred cran & the price was ten bob. We are fishing at the Rhu Rea just now. The herring was down to five bob yesterday & some boats lost their nets and ropes too. I think we will be home next week if we get a shot to run with. Hope you are all well at Home. Alex."

A cran is a measure of herring equal to about 170 litres and containing about 1,200 ungutted fish. So at 10 bob - i.e. 10 shillings or 50p - a cran, a catch of 100 earned the boat £50. "Rhu Rea" is the headland of Rubha Reidh where there's a lighthouse north of Loch Gairloch. (I wonder why, if they were fishing off RR, they went south, a further distance and further from home, to Mallaig to discharge their catch rather than to Stornoway, closer and nearer to home?)

Rubha Reidh light - Skye on the horizon - Photo credit Andy Hemingway
If anyone knows the answer to that or is related to Alex or William Slater from Gordonsburgh, Buckie or knows anything about the steam fishing vessel "Adequate", then do leave a comment.


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