Museum day of exploration, research and discoveries

Tuesday June 13th - Meetings and Research

Spent the day in Shetland Museum and Archives, meeting John Hunter and discussing the exhibition - the layout of the space.. how the sound will work... where screens will be placed etc etc.  

Then into the Archives to talk to the lovely Angus and Blair who patiently found 19th C documents for us to photograph, which are all fascinating, and listen again to recordings of the voices of James Cheyne and Christie Irvine recalling days at Stenness and the fishing.
'Shipped off at Stenness' - list of ling caught by Stenness fishermen, dated 1817

These are handwritten documents that we have been attempting to transcribed. Wonderful records of the names of fishermen working at Stenness, detailing Ling received at Stenness 1812 - numbers of fish caught on different days by each sixareen crew (6 men in each team) with the weight of each fish. This information would be noted by the Laird's factor and set against the men's other debts - rent and purchases in the Laird's shop - as noted in the Stenness Day Book - and which would often exceed the money earned during the fishing season, leaving the men in debt.
Page from Stenness Day Book 1894 - courtesy of Tangwick Haa Museum
 I could spend days in there ... 

Then of course there are the items in the museum relating to Haaf fishing... sixareens, ling hooks and line...
section of sixareen

Ling fishing hook
Luder horn
and luder horn... an important instrument for da haaf fishermen used particularly in a thick mist at sea. Come to the opening of our installation and you'll hear it blown.


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