Memories of the Past
by: McLean, Jackie
Did you cum fae Gurden
And yer father ging tae Sea?
Yer mither rise the early oors
In the sheddy she wid be.
Raking through the garra water
Wi her sheel blade in her hand
Getting mussles ready
We granny’ s help. was grand
Granny sheelt half the mussles
Her baiten apprin she wid wear
‘Granny, how di ya ken foo much to sheel?’
‘Eh lassie- till ma shudder blades are serr’
Baiting boardie to the brim
Mussles ready to begin
Skull set high upon the horse
Gob brimming fu o’githered girse.
Gara bags upon their knees
Mussies put on heuks
Some in twa’s some in threes.
Heukes set doon line efter line
When wark was feenished
A sup tea was just fine.
Steaming fae the shall water
The boaties they wid steer
Landing whiting, cod and haddock
Now they’d berthed langside the pier
Kerties made wi auld pram wheels
The lines wir pit on board
on tap the empty piece box
And a fly for up the road
Dad and deddy busy- raiding line and tipping heuks
Beaten threed at the ready~to mend the eens that broke
Deddy ready-foo he waited
To rade the back o’the line mam baited
Mam’s nearly feenished baiten she’s on the last hunk noo
Granny looks at mam and shaks her heed
As she sees the biddum o the basket
Wi a gret big sigh- she says
‘Oh! dear me sirs eh- lassie foo we’r tasket!
From time to time, we were sent fir bark
To the sochie off we’d track
We’d kerry it hame in broon paper pokes
Sometimes tak the lang road
And ging hame oor the rocks.
Wi the boiler on the firie
The bark was coup-ed into dye
Lines were left tae steep
And fir ages they wid lye
Fan ready they’d be halled oot
Ringing, dreeping, soaking weet
Cloved and hung on claes poles
Left ready ti dry a week
Seems they lived that hard way of life
Sic a lang time ago
If speered ‘fit job wid ye have liked?’
They’d say ‘fit aither kida doh’
A fisherman’s life was a hard life
Ma mither’s hands often sare and roch
But I’m still proud to be a fisherman’s dother
Brocht up wi the mussle troch.