F is for Fishing: Spotlight Tour- 14 July

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.


Fishing boats in Newhaven Harbour

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.


Edinburgh Alphabet

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


Fishwives at Newhaven Harbour (this pre-dates the building of the fishmarket)

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.


Newhaven Fisherwomen’s Choir on a trip to Norway


About edinburghmuseumsoutreach

I'm the Outreach & Access Manager at Edinburgh Museums & Galleries (the museums service of the City of Edinburgh Council). I take the museums out to community groups and schools. I really enjoy meeting lots of people of different ages and backgrounds and helping them connect with our collections. I love showing people some of the amazing objects that we hold and I like helping them to remember the past or to create something amazing.
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