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Port Registration Letters

From Castlebay at the south and throughout the Hebrides came many of the original Herring Girls.  From port to port; right around the coast of Britain to Great Yarmouth where their journey following the Herring Season ended, fishing boats from many ports with many registrations formed part of this way of life, year in and year out.

Castlebay (CY)

Each herring port has its own story to tell.  Castlebay is a special place for me, it is where my family would start their trail following the shoals of herring.  The boys would go to sea and catch the herring, and the Herring Girls would travel from port to port following the fleet to make sure the herring was processed and ready for market.  A nomadic lifestyle that lasted generations, but everyone knew where their home port was; Castelbay is mine. Margaret Anne Elder (CY “Grian nan Oir”)

Broadford (BRD)

Broadford was originally came from the Old Norse meaning ‘wide bay’ and then translated into the Gaelic An t-Àth Leathann, the ‘broad river-ford’. The second largest settlement in Skye, Broadford now stretches for a mile and a half around the bay.  As well as fishing, Broadford is now a bit of a tourist destination itself, offering a range of activities.

Stornoway (SY)

The town's population is around 5,000, making it by far the largest town in the Hebrides. The town was founded by Vikings in the early 9th century, with the Old Norse name Stjórnavágr. The settlement grew up around a sheltered natural harbour near the centre of the island. In the past, people travelled to Stornoway from all over the island, either by family boat or by horse-drawn coach, for onward travel and trade with the rest of Scotland and further afield.

Great Yarmouth (YH)

This map from Google will allow you to see Great Yarmouth as it is today, centred on the Great Yarmouth Port Authority Building.

I wonder if there is anything still there today that can be seen in this film taken of the Herring Girls in Great Yarmouth nearly a century ago in 1925 ?

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