The European sea fish trade grew rapidly from the 16th century onwards and the waters around Scotland was the place to be.
The Herring Lassies of Scotland were a ‘threat’ to the norms of the day where women were expected to be quiet, work in the home and certainly not travel about. They ‘took the power to themselves’ explained Professor Heddle and ‘chose a voice for themselves’.
They had a language that was sophisticated and culturally diverse. They defied the social norms of their day and were a crucial workforce.
“As enthusiasm for the show gathered momentum, wood and rope was purchased to make stock pens, donations of cups for prize-winners were sought and judges found, with arrangements put in place for the ‘steamer’ to call along Stronsay with invited guests and visitors on ‘Show Day’.”