Banffshire Coast News

Museum to open after revamp

Portsoy's Salmon Bothy opens its re-vamped museum on Saturday 4th May.

Over the winter months, volunteers at the Salmon Bothy have been busily re-furbishing the small museum housed in the three, vaulted ice chambers.

Star of the updated exhibition is Jeannie, the lifelike and authentically dressed fisher lass, created by Bothy volunteer, Jack Elliott.  Accompanied by her kist full of personal possessions, she represents the thousands of gutting quines who followed the migrating herring from Shetland down to Yarmouth each year.

In the first of the three ice-chambers, visitors can find out about the development of Portsoy's two harbours.  New items in this chamber include a collection of original boat-building tools and a display of seafaring knots where people can try their hand at securing various items using this once essential skill.  Also available for visitors to try are a selection of block and tackles which would have been seen on all sailing vessels and used for heavy lifting jobs.

Chamber two shows the busy industries once established in Portsoy - including the quarrying of Portsoy marble and the making of buoys for the fishing industry, not forgetting the lively smuggling activities which were once rife in the area.  It also features an original clinker-built pilot boat (descended from the Vikings), complete with splendid sail, an example of the kind of vessel which once sailed from Portsoy's harbours. 

Chamber three features the life history of the salmon, and charts the development of commercial salmon fishing, which flourished in Portsoy until the closure of the fishery in 1990.  A large variety of salmon fishing artefacts are on display which visitors are welcome to try for themselves.

New to this chamber are examples of boats built and sailed by local youngsters in a series of innovative projects undertaken by PORT, the boat building wing of the Scottish Traditiional Boat Festival.

As well as housing the small museum, the Bothy has developed a centre for family history research and has become the hub for all kinds of community activities.

For further information, visit www.salmonbothy.org.uk


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