NEFA - The North East Folklore Archive

The Sea

Barrel making from J. T. Findlay's History of Peterhead, 1933

a cooperIn 1815 there were only 50 to 60 coopers in Peterhead; in 1896, with 74 master fishcurers having an average of six coopers each, there were as many as 444 hands employed in the trade, without taking into account those engaged in the Barrel Factory. There is a very large trade in barrel staves, and for the year ending 29th February 1896, 5,160,690 superficial feet were imported into Peterhead from Norway and Sweden. Comparatively few “made” barrels were formerly imported; and the year 1893 was signalised by a riot in the town of the arrival of a vessel laden with foreign-made barrels. The vessel was not allowed to discharge its cargo, and for some days a rabble held the street. They had to take the staves from abroad, but would have nothing to do with coopered barrels.


listen here Norma Wilson reads from "A Stranger on The Bars", memoirs of Broadsea fisher, Christian Watt Marshal

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