In July there will be a series of Curator’s Spotlight Tours of Edinburgh Alphabet. I will be leading a short tour on 14 July at 11am. ‘Bow-tows: The Fisherfolk of Newhaven’ will explore the unique heritage of the village of Newhaven. The talk will last approximately 15 minutes and is free. Just drop in to the City Art Centre and meet at reception.
I will look at some of the Newhaven material on display in Edinburgh Alphabet including art, photography and social history collections and this gorgeous gala costume.
The fishwives of Newhaven were known for their brightly coloured costumes. When working, they would often wear a floral patterned shor’goon (blouse), a navy skirt, striped apron and a pooch (pocket) and often a shawl and coat. The last working Newhaven fishwife, Esther Liston, retired in 1976 aged 80
Colourful gala costumes (such as the one on the mannequin) were worn by members of the choirs and on gala days, Sundays and for special occasions. Although the Newhaven fishwives are no longer a familiar sight, gala costume is still worn in the village on special occasions, such as the gala, today.