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Interview with Ned and Jack Maddrell about the fishing industry on the Isle of Man

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Date(s): 12 January 1954

Creator(s): Manx Museum

Scope & Content: Interview with Ned and Jack Maddrell of Glen Chass, Port St Mary, about the fishing industry on the Isle of Man. Ned talks about the size of the fishing fleet; the winter work done on the boats and rigging; industries that support the local fishing fleet such as blacksmithing and sailmaking; the age at which boys went to sea; the custom of saying a prayer at the beginning of the voyage; how nets were constructed and cast; the duties of the cook; the return to home port for the changeover between mackerel and herring seasons; the long voyage to the herring grounds near Shetland; the fishermen's superstitions, including the use of herbs for luck; a story about a boy stealing a dishcloth from another boat for luck; a story about a boy sent to buy lucky herbs who spent the money in the pub instead; words, including 'rat', that must not be used on board as they bring bad luck; Port St Mary's blacksmiths and sailmakers; the size of the fleet and the difficulty of finding men to work the fleet; the necessity of taking labourers, farmhands and even ex-soldiers to work the fleet; and the wages earned by the boys and adults.

Jack says he was 12 years and 9 months when he went first to sea as cook. He talks about having to clean out and dry the skipper’s bunk and finding a 'lucky' left hind leg of a female hare; story about breaking a looking glass onboard a boat in Lerwick.

Administration / Biographical History: Edward Maddrell (1877-1974) known as Ned Maddrell, was the last native speaker of Manx Gaelic.

Language: English

Extent: 31 min. 58 sec.

Item name: magnetic tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0040

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH


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