[TM] Yes, you mentioned,
you mentioned the singing down there, down amongst the guttin
girls, and it was mostly hymns?
[AB] Mostly hymns that we sang
[JDB] Oh it was a hymns
[AB] Maistly hymns
[TM] What sort of, I mean
[AB] Well it would be the old, Sankey hymns,
at's fit we sang. The old Sankey hymns
[TM] We hold the anchor to keep us
[AB] Aye a that kind of stuff, aye, well it
wis jist Sankey hymns that they sang in their churches ye
see. We sing Sankey hymns in oor church yet ye see.
[JDB] Good stirring stuff.
[AB] At's the hymns at we like ye see.
[TM] And did they sing any other songs as well
or? Remember any other?
[AB] Well I suppose we sang any up to date songs,
but it wis jist mostly hymns that we would hae sung.
[GS] I tell you what I was going to ask you
when you mentioned that. Did you ever been familiar with a
song about the Foy, the Foy-o, does that ring any, any bells
[AB] Would that nae hae been a highland song?
[GS] No, it's a Peterhead song, someone mentioned
it to me not long ago, and it what it was the Foy used to
be a celebration that they used to have in Peterhead.
[JDB] A foy, a foy?
[JDB] Oh aye.
[GS] And that was the celebration that they
had, originally the Dutch brought it in and it was, and the
whalers kept it up, and they used to have a big party or whatever
and go round..
[JDB] Oh aye, at's whit they used to call a
party in Peterhead, a Foy.
[AB] A, but that would been awa further back.
[GS] And do they still.
[AB] No, no no.
[GS] Would it, if you mentioned a foy to somebody,
how, how, would people of your generation know what you were
[JDB] Oh aye, oh yes, oh yes, further back than
[AB] Younger eens wouldnae.
[JDB] Younger people an me would min, ken fit
a foy wis.
[AB] A lot of the old scotch words are dyin
out ye see.
[GS] Well that's Dutch actually. That is actually
a Dutch thing that was brought over here. It's just that someone
mentioned to me that there was a song that em
[AB] Well ye see the Dutch come ower first wi
the, and gutted the herring, awa back, before the first world
war ye see it's afore.
[JDB] They used tae come across and lease the
Keith Inch. The island, it's called the Keith Inch at the
harbour and gut the herrin on ere, the Dutch were.
[AB] The Dutch, at wis the first o the herrin
trade in Peterheid ye see.
[GS] And that was back in the 1600s would it
[JDB] Well efter at, 17.
[AB] Afore the first world war ye see.
[JDB] Right up till the first world war, it
kinda died oot afore the first world war.
[AB] They used tae come tae the fishin but they
took their herrin awa hame wi them.
[GS] Was there still Dutch people working at
Keith Inch then, at the turn of this century 1900.
[GS] Would have been gone by then.
[JDB] I would say they'd be gone by then.
[Speaking across each other]
[AB] They used tae come, they still came tae
the fishin but they nivver landed their fish.
[JDB] Their cases wis ?? by Peterhead people.
[AB] They cured their herrin aboard their boats.
So did they sort of, by that time, did they
keep themselves to themselves?
[AB] Yes kept themselves tae themselves, and
cured their herrin aboard their boats and took them awa, mebbe
went home every third or fourth weekend, at's away back as
far as I can min, I can jist min on the Dutchmen, course they
wore their Dutch clothes ye see, their clogs at that time.
Did they have women on the boats doing the guttin.
[AB] No, no, it wis jist theirsel. The only
boats I ken a woman's been on's been the Russian boats and
nae mony, a few, gey few.
So the song 'The Foy' doesn't mean anything to you. 'Will
you come to the Foy-o and dance a sailor's joy-o.'
[AB] Na, na. Nivver heard it.
[JDB] Oh I would understand a foy to mean a
[AB] I've nivver heard the song. Never heard
[JDB] No, I couldnae say I've ever heard the
[GS] It's just somebody I was speaking to that
remembered that, it was someone probably around about your
age who remembers their mother singing it.
Sing' it aye.
[GS] It must have been like just, just a little
ditty that people sang.
[JDB] I couldnae say I min on at.
[GS] I would love to find the tune of it was.
Nivver heard it ye see, couldna say I'd ever
heard it ava.
[GS] Write a tune for it.
[JDB] How are you getting on with your research.
[GS] Very well thank you.
[JDB] Oh at's fine.
[GS] It's going really well. Everybody involved
is very eh, thankfully being very conscientious and optimistic
and hopefully making sure we've got it covered.
[JDB] Get a story oot amon't.
[GS] Aye, oh there's a great story there.
[JDB] Oh you've got the story.
[GS] Oh we've got the story, we've got the story,
it's just a case of making, the difficult part really is knowing
what you have to sort of leave out you know, because generally,
in general terms it covers a lot of ground. The actual theme
of the thing, it's not just fishing, and it's not just whaling,
and there's a piece, there's a bit in there about navigation
as well, which em
[JDB] Well there's a point
I would like to mention to you.
[GS] What's that.
[JDB] When I was going wi ma father, we hid a cook, what was
his name again noo.
[JDB] Freddie Cameron. Fred Cameron was his
name. And he went away tae the whalin in 1914, that year,
at's the year at the first world war broke out. Of course
he didnae get back until the war wis finished. And when he
come home his girlfriend was married and hid three o a family
and the father died, so he jist married her.
[AB] She wis a war widae.
[JDB] She was a war widow was she?
[AB] He come back, his girlfriend.
[TM] So he came back and he had this ready made
[AB] Ready made family aye.
[JDB] Ready made family aye, at's right. I wis
with him on the boat. And he wis the type o bloke
[AB] Ye see they wintered in Greenland, and
then war broke oot and (speaking across), people forgot about
[JDB] He wis three winters, three winters.
[AB] People forgot about them.
[GS] Do you know, do you remember
[AB] He his descendants in Peterhead yet ye
[GS] And what about David Cardno, do you remember
him? David Cardno
[AB] Davie Cardna?
[GS] He wis, aye he wis in the whalin as well
during the first world war, he was one of the last o the
[AB] Was he fae Gamrie?
[GS] No from Peterhead, I live in Gamrie now,
but I'm originally from Peterhead.
[AB] Uh huh.
[GS] I just wondered if
[AB] Cardna's nae a Peterhead name ye see..
[GS] No it's Fraserburgh, really, the Broch
[AB] No I dinna min a Davie Cardna. We would
hae been Peter
. At Cameron, well the wey that we ken
him he gaed tae sea wi him and eh.
[JDB] He wis cook wi us on the Peggy, at wis
the name o oor boat.
[AB] He wis three winters left in Greenland.
[JDB] And he used tae stand at the stove and
wouldnae spik tae anybody. He wis the kind o chap at could
withdraw into himself you know. And I could imagine him up
in Iceland or Greenland or wherever, Greenland, being able
to just stand on his own two feet and forget everybody. Freddie
[GS] I bet he could have a few tales to tell
though if you could get him to speak he'd a had some interesting
[TM] Do you know the names of any of his descendants.
[AB] Well there's, let's see, would it be a
great-grand daughter, at's living, Freda Cameron. I dinnae
[JDB] I dinna ken.
[AB] I wouldna know her married name ye see,
great grand child Freda Cameron (speaks across each other).
[JDB] But the first thing they did when they
went up there, if they were going to winter there, they had
to get a women to keep them warm.
[AB] Oh here comes is rubbish, nonsense that
[JDB] At's what they did! They couldna live
without a woman tae keep them warm. [laughs]
[TM] What was the street you mentioned she might
[AB] Well, she used to stay, in ehm, Battery
Park, ye ken at street, Battery Park. Noo fit wis her mairried
name again, Freda Cameron, I dinna min her mairried name.
Freda Cameron wis her own name.
[GS] Did you mention the
memorial to your daughter, the idea. Remember when we first
met you mentioned some kind of memorial of some sort to the
Peterhead during the wars.
[AB] See we hiv a memorial, we hiv a memorial
[GS] No, but this was some kind of
[TM] The role that Peterhead played rather than
the people, you know, I mean as a harbour for all the converted
ships and so on.
[JDB] Canna min that, fit were we talkin aboot.
[GS] No you were saying to me, that you would
like to, you and some of your peers would like to see some
kind of eh..
[AB] Like a plaque or something.
[GS] Aye, I don't mean a memorial like the Cenotaph,
but some kind of memory memorial of Peterhead's role during
[JDB] I canna min that.
[GS] No I just wondered if anything had developed
[AB] You see it was a naval base in the first
[GS] And the second yes.
[GS] Do you remember if it, did have a title.
[AB] I dinna think so.
[GS] Was it HMS something, or anything like
that, did it become known as anything like that?
[JDB] Oh I never heard spoken of HMS funny enough.
[AB] I dinna think it hid a title.
[JDB] It just Peterhead, port of Peterhead as
far as I, but I'm nae sure of that.
[AB] It's a harbour of refuge ye see, this wis
the bay, a harbour of refuge.
[JDB] There wis a full admiral here the first
world war, Admiral Simpson. Cause his father wis, his father,
eh, the chap that I knew, Admiral Simpson's son, I met him
in Scapa during the last war and we wis, hid a lot of talks
together. Cause my father wis skipper of the Peggy, that wis
the ship that wis Admiral's barge, taken on as Admiral's barge.
The Peggy. There's a, there's a mockup o it in one of the
shops down the town, it came fae Germany. Aye, you sa it didn't
[AB] I heard ye spikkin aboot it. I'm scared
tae [???]! [laughs] I'm scared tae [???].
[JDB] The Peggy, ye min aboot the Peggy. Well
I'm sayin that cyclin shop his models
[JDB] Models o them, models o
I wis gan
tae buy one but it wis too big
[AB] Four fit lang! [laughs]
[AB] Four fit lang. At's only aboot two fit
that yer measurin the noo. [laughs]
[JDB] Aye, four fit. And at wis the Admiral's
barge in Peterhead, the Admiral Simpson, it wis me father's
[GS] You know what, do you know what Admiral
Simpson's first name was, was it Alec?
[JDB] I've nae idea aboot at noo, I couldnae
tell ye at.
[GS] And you don't know anything about him?
He wasn't, he wasn't descended from the, I know he came to
Peterhead during the war, but was he descended from the Simpsons,
the whaling family, the Simpsons. Does that mean anything
[JDB] I don't know about that now.
[GS] Because there was someone was telling me
that they was, their descendant was from a whaling family
that was the harbour master from Peterhead during the first
world war. Now would that be the same chap
[JDB] Oh there wisnae a Simpson here, a harbour
master the first world war. No.
[GS] But I was wondering if it might be the
same guy, if they maybe not quite right with their harbour
[JDB] Well I would imagine Admiral Simpson was
a naval man, sure he was.
[AB] Ye see, harbour master at Peterhead in
at days, hidna been jist an important job, wi them dressed
in their uniform like it is now. I wouldna think.
[GS] You think it would be more like a car park
attendant kinda. [laughs]
[AB] I would say, isn't it?
[JDB] Ah but there were, he wis a full Admiral.
[AB] No at's nae fit I'm sayin, the harbour
[JDB] Well the harbour master was never in the
[AB] No, but he wouldn't ging aboot dressed
wi a uniform on like they dae noo. I dinna think so.
[JDB] Oh aye, oh yes. When I went to sea when
I was a young man, the Admiral was
[AB] No, no the harbour master.
[JDB] The harbour master I'm spikkin aboot,
always hid the buttons. Oh yes.
[AB] He wore a bit o uniform.
[GS] And were they always retired eh, or eh
[JDB] No, no it was their job.
[AB] Fishermen, retired fishermen mostly to
[JDB] No, only in the last puckle year.
[AB] Aye, yer deep sea eens.
[JDB] In the olden days the harbour master in
Peterhead was always a deep sea master, retired and take up
residence on shore and got the job as harbour master.
[AB] It's a very busy harbour now, ye see.
[GS] It always has been though hasn't it really.
[AB] Always been a busy harbour, since, it's
always been a lot a comin and going. Ye see in the olden days
ye used tae be cargo boats come in load a coal. It took em,
kirken up coal tae the ships ye see. Three or four hundred
ships a burnin coal, weel ye'd the cargo boats comin in a
the time. And then cargo boats come in wi the staves tae mak
the barrels and then they came and took awa the herrin, there
wis an affa lot o cargo ships in at days. It disnae exist
noo ye see, at kinda thing.
[JDB] Well it's like everything else, it was
more labour intensive. Everything was.
[TM] Where did the staves come from.
[AB] Eh, the Baltic, come up the Baltic, the
[GS] Did you ever hear a
story, before your time of course, but did you ever hear a
story about a cooper's riot.
[JDB] Cooper's what?
[AB] They came on strike. I tell ye fit wis
the reason. They made their livin a winter makin the barrels,
and eh some o the, some o the curers I think it wis, tried
tae bring back the empty barrels ye see.
[JDB] Re use them.
[AB] And that would have finished their work
a winter, and I've heard ma father spikkin aboot it. And,
a boat came in wi the barrels and they put her oot, noo it
nivver got in and they nivver tried it again. That wis fit
the uproar wis aboot, they tried tae bring back the barrels
and reuse them, at wis true at.
[GS] Aye, I was reading about that. To quote,
it said something about for several days the mob took to the
streets or something, so it must have been quite a
[AB] Yes, and they would have
[JDB] That wis at time.
[AB] Well, at wis, they'd a lost their livelihood
ye see, they hid nae work a winter, they made the barrels
a winter. Well if they got to bring back the barrels at would
a been no job for them ye see.
[GS] Oh, that's interesting, I didn't realise
they were the ones they had already made I thought it was
[AB] Oh it wis the ones, I heard ma father speakin
aboot it, at wis the barrels at they exported the herrin in,
ye see they were a strong, strong thing, they coulda come
back and be reused, but then they wouldnae allow it to come
back. Last barrels that they used were plastic barrels that
they were usin.
[JDB] Oh aye, it's a plastic now.
[AB] It's a plastic now. But eh, a handmade
coopers barrels were strong, could easily have been reused
but then they wouldnae allow them ye see.
[GS] Do you know where, have you seen any lately,
do you know where we might be able to find a few.
[GS] Mm hmm.
[AB] Is there nae barrels, there must be, is
there nae barrels, is there nae barrels in eh, eh, Woodie's
yard or naethin like at.
[JDB] Aye, ye'll get barrels in the toon yet.
Well I'm sure there must be some.
[AB] Must be, there must be barrels, they used
tae be lyin awey.
[JDB] Well it's, it's a long time ago Ag, ye
see, it's aboot nearly forty year go.
[AB] [speaking across.] But I suppose they disappeared
ye see. There wis half barrels, half barrels and hale barrels.
There wis two sizes.
[GS] I know they used to be everywhere but we're
having a job actually just finding these things you know.
It's like a last minute desperate effort.
[JDB] I ken, I know,
[AB] Is there naething in the museum? I think
there's in the museum.
[GS] Well they've got one or two, but I mean
we'd just things like that that were commonplace. Not that
[Speaking across each other]
[AB] Oh aye, just tae let ye get one. Oh they
were lyin awey.
[JDB] Oh they were awey.
and you couldn't move for drift nets
and bouys and things, but you try and find them now, it's
a different job.
[AB] Aye, they've disappeared ye see.
[JDB] But I'm sure there's someplace far there'll
be barrels yet.
[AB] Must be eh, nivver thought that they'd
[JDB] But I think that Sandy Wid would be the
place cause they still dae a lot o herrins ye see.
[AB] Mebbe lyin aboot their yard mebbe. At's
??? in eh, in eh St Peter street yonder. I should imagine
that there must be.
[JDB] I think if ye call there and make an enquiry
you would find oot they wid hae access tae some barrels somewey
in some o their stores.
[AB] ??? barrels. There must be barrels lyin
awey. [laughs] They collapse ye see!
[GS] You can't get, you can't get rid of 100
million barrels. I've seen photographs of heaps of them in
[AB] Oh aye, mercy me, built up in heaps.
[GS] Stacked up in, in, in the Nelson's monument
on the Yarmouth Deans, surrounded by barrels heaped up.
[AB] Three, four tier high. Oh aye. There just
stacked ??? nivver get a back to them.
[JDB] It's funny how a thing disappears.
[TM] Were you born and
raised in Peterhead itself?
[AB] Yes the both of us. He wis Buchan haven,
and I wis, fit they ca'd the Roonheads, doon at the top o
the harbour yonder, at's far I wis born, he wis born in Buchanhaven.
[TM] What was your name?
[AB] Angus is my name ye see. My father wis
a cooper, he wisnae a fisherman. Dinna put that doon now,
dinna put that doon onto yer card, because I'm nae wintin
ye tae put at on.
[GS] I'm going to mention that to my father,
I'm just making a note. What was your father's name?
[AB] My father's name was David Angus, his father
wis a cooper wi Woodie's ye see.
[JDB] Oh well he'd bound tae ken him like.
[GS] I'm familiar wi the name. As soon as you
mentioned the name.
[AB] Ah well,
[GS] Davie Angus.
[JDB] He wis gaffer.
[GS] Wait a minute, wait a minute, is there,
is there a George Angus in your family.
[AB] No, I hid one brother, Davie Angus an a.
[GS] What about going back a couple of generations,
was there a George, your grandfather or?
[AB] Eh, my grandfather no, he wis a pinter,
there wis eh.
[GS] This is off the record stuff, Tom.
[AB] My father's mother's people they were Bairds.
Ye ken fae the west coast.
[JDB] A' but yer father's brothers wis a' coopers.
[AB] Well there wis, wait till I tell ye know,
there wis, the auldest een wisnae a cooper, he went awa tae
Edinburgh, there wis Alec Angus and my father, there wis jist
two o them coopers.
[GS] There wis never a Georgie, or a Georgie,
or a Geordie, or a Doddie.
[AB] No, no. No Geordie Baird but nae Angus.
[TM] Keep going.
[GS] No, it's just that my grandfather, my father
and my grandfather are both George Angus Sutherland. And apparently
my grandfather was named
[AB] You've Angus an a!
[JDB] Foo aul's your father.
[GS] Was named, no he was named after, my grandfather
was named after a guy called George Angus. Now my grandfather's
family they were coopers the Sutherlands, they came down from
[JDB] Is your father still living?
[GS] Mm hmm.
[JDB] Foo aul is he?
[JDB] Oh he's jist a boy.
[GS] A young snip of a lad, he doesn't know
what he wants to do when he grows up that's his problem.
[AB] Angus, came from the west side I think
my father's folk.
[GS] No, there's no family connection, it just
so happened that my grandfather was named after his father's
pal, who was George Angus, and I wouldn't be at all surprised
in the cooper community if there is some kind of connection.
[AB] [speaking across] But there's only the
one family Angus at wis in Peterheid, and then the uncles
they emigrated to Australia. He wis an affa een for fiddles,
ye min, mak the fiddles, They a gaed awa tae Australia. But
there wis only one family Anguses and there's only two o them
coopers, there wis my father and his brother, Ailec Angus.
But then their families wis coopers ye see, ken at's another
generation, a younger generation again. Ye see, yer either
a cooper or a fisherman in Peterheid, there wis nae ither
[JDB] A cooper or a fisherman or a cairter.
Drove a horse and a cairt.
[AB] Uh huh, at wis anither crowd ye see, the
herrin wis a taen up tae the fishyards in horses and carts.
[GS] So they used to bring in the lads from
the farms just for the season, just to do the job. That's
[AB] There wis a lot o cairters in Peterheid,
there wis big firms, there wis Sutherlands employed aboot
[AB] And Reids the cairters, big firms wi the
horses and cairts, they were cairters.
[GS] Just for the herring barrels.
[AB] Well it wis a kinda different trades, they
did a lot o different jobs wi the horse and the cairts.
[JDB] It wis a job that wis work intensive in
[JDB] Then we used tae hae a gala day and the
horses and a were a decorated a beautiful.
[TM] What time of year would that be?
[JDB] Oh, the end of the fishin, there wis aye
a gala at the end o the fishin. There wis competition wi the
cairters wi their horses. They wis a done up beautiful. Of
course they've at in the country yet ye see, they've at up
at Maud and at places.
[GS] And that used to be out in Peterhead an
end of season bash.
[AB] There's always a gala day, end of the season,
we'd hae a gala day. End of season ??? [laughs]
[TM] Do you remember when
you were small any games you that used to play, any?
[AB] Well, nae really, jist be the same games
at the bairns play yet I suppose, skippin wi ropes and that
[TM] Do you remember any rhymes or poems that
you used to say with that.
[AB] Nae really, I've heard them sayin em on
here, the same rhymes we used tae say fan we woulda been playin
on the playground. Ye see fan we played in the playground
at the school we were segregated, the boys hid one playground
and the girls hid anither.
[TM] And the girls would be skipping over here
and the boys would be doing something else.
[AB] Yes. Fighting, fighting! Mostly fighting.
[TM] Did you have things like 'Eetle, ottle
black bottle, eetle ottle out'?
[AB] Oh at a gaed on, but that still would hae
gan on in my family's times I woulda say.
[GS] At still does.
[AB] Aye, I think at's still going on at eh,
[JDB] And how are you getting on with your research.
[AB] Very well, they're tellin ye.
[JDB] At's good.
[TM] Aye we're daein fine.
[AB] Aye, but hey, we've tae hear is, afore
we get ony o this, make sense o this lot in here [laughs]
[TM] You haven't said anything that's eh too
[AB] We've to censor this lot in here! [laughs]
[JDB] Ah, nonsense.
[AB] He's nae a bit conscientious, he's nae
[TM] He wisnae a conchy.
[AB] There's a chap, a young
laddie actually, we were friendly wi his parents, and he's
aye comin doon here wi a recorder tae us tae record the old
days. But its awful difficult, unless, unless, it's a whole
life story he wants tae here, unless you're sittin chattin
aboot old times, it's difficult to just tell anybody your
life story. And oh he came wi tape recorders, but he finally
gave up I think. He wis affa interested, it's a shame really.
But eh, nivver ivver got round til't. Come back and naething
on the tapes. I wis embarrassed aboot it actually. It wis
difficult. Ye felt as if, oh I mebbe could dae at one day
if I feel like it, but never got round to it.
[AB] They were kinda taen unawares, ye see the Shetland folk
they benefited fit happened here. They came here unawares
upon the people here and I would say the Shetlanders made
a better deal wi them.
[JDB] Aye, but they hid different situation
there, completely different. They owned all the land roon
aboot, well we didnae here ye see, we hidnae anything. I wis
chairman o the Harbour Board at that time, when they came
[AB] A that smartalecs came in aboot.
[JDB] But we wasn't, there wisnae a lot we could
do. Any little bits o land we capitalised on them. But there
wisnae a lot.
[AB] Wis the, ??? is kind a people at wis alive. Ye get that
smart alecs attached tae the oil that we weren't prepared
[JDB] Oh, but Peterhead's done aright out of
the oil. There's still a lot of people get a good wage packet
out of the oil in Peterhead.
[AB] Oh aye, they've done aright, there's lots
of jobs, there's a lot of jobs gaen in tae, oh I widnae say
naething aboot the oil it hisnae interfered wi the fishin industry
none whatsoever. They've carried on the two of them side by
[TM] Has it changed the place much in twenty
[JDB] What's that.
[AB] The oil hisnae changed Peterhead one little
[AB] Now, it's knocked the fishin out a bit
in Aberdeen, a that they were interested in wis the oil, they
werenae interested sae much in the fishin. But they both sat
side by side here very well indeed.
[JDB] Oh aye, oh yes, and the Broch hisn't
got anything off the oil.
But what helps Peterhead
was we had at big bay harbour.
[AB] Aye at big bay ye see, then they reclaimed,
see far the, the ither side o the bay, they reclaimed a yon
ground ye see, made a bonny pier and athing over night.
[TM] That's just in the last twenty years.
[AB] Sucked up, sucked up the sand fae here
and poured it in ere, it's a great, oh, yes, wonderful things
they can do. Oh aye, there wisnae a pier here ye see, there
wis jist rough ground, jist gaed in and made a pier, filled
it a in. Ye'd a hale new bit o ground before you knew where
you were. Oh aye, they were smart. But as I say, they've worked
hand in hand, there's been nae, it hisnae affected the fishin
whatsoever, and they've just worket oot o the bay and fishin's
worket oot o the harbours. At bay's wis built
of Side A.]
[AB] A sorta harbour at they could shelter.
[TM] 1890's maybe?
[AB] Fan wis it built, the breakwater.
[JDB] Before the turn of the century. Aye, continued
right into the present century.
[AB] At's why we hiv the prison ye see, the
prison wis built there and that's far the labour came fae,
convict labour, it wis built wi convict labour. At's fit happened
here ye see.
[TM] I see. Hm..
[GS] Well Tom, I think eh, we'd better be heading
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