'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eyemouth and the Great Fishing Disaster

Ever since reading Susanna Kearsley's The Shadowy Horses I've wanted to go to Eyemouth to the museum and see the tapestry in remembrance of the Great Fishing Disaster of 1881. We did just that last Friday when we went down to visit Eric Brown, author of the Langham and Dupre Mysteries and many science fiction novels.

Eye mouth is probably my favorite place so far, as far as towns go. I love the closeness of it and the higgledy, jiggeldy way the streets go. It was a very active small town and just exuded fishing village from every corner. Jack's grandfather was the pastor of the church there and his mom lived there as a child!

Willie Spears lead the revolt to end the paying of tithes to the church. I guess it was mandatory back then.

Robert Burns was made a Mason here at the local chapter Land of Cakes! How's that for a name? Wouldn't you love to live there?

The great fishing disaster took place on the 14th of October, 1881. After a week of bad weather and no fishing they woke up to gorgeous blue skies and the fishing fleets of every harbour along the coast were thrilled to get out on the sea. But later that day the skies turn dark and the wind picked up, hurricane Euroclydon struck. Winds so fierce it layed flat 30,000 trees! Just think of all those small fishing boats. A total of 189 fishermen lost their lives between several villages. 129 from Eyemouth. Many made it back to the harbour of Eyemouth only to be bashed against the rocks while their families looked on from shore. What a dark day it must have been, leaving 73 widows and 263 fatherless children. You can read a fascinating account of the day here at the museum's website. The museum was a wonderful peek into the farming and fishing lives of Eyemouth. Take a walk through the museum with me...

The young girls, called fisherlassies, followed the fleet from Lerwick to Great Yarmouth gutting, salting and packing the herring along the way. They would make between £17 and £20 for the season.

This is the Eyemouth Tapestry...

This is an installation commemorating the 129 Eyemouth fishermen who lost their lives that day. They stand together with their crews. The largest groups are those that went down with their boats and the single or pairs are those who were washed overboard and the only ones of their crew that didn't make it back.

Very moving.

Peggy Ann


  1. Oh that is so sad! It must have brought comfort to the families of the lost fisherman that their loved ones were remembered in such a nice way.

  2. The town looks lovely, but the story is heartbreaking.

  3. What a calamity!
    Thank you for this interesting post and the lovely photos of a fascinating place.
    [Valerie, NZ]


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...