Open Air Market

— #01 Fishmarket

Overview Open Air Fish Market The Building Fish Auctions Working Fishwives Pier Parliament The Police Box

3_1035:  Before 1896, there was no building in which to sell fish.  Instead, there was an open air pierhead market seemingly disorganised but serving its purpose.

Pierhead and slip

3_1047:  The hubbub and crowded busy-ness of it all would have been a spectacle. Horse and carts, and ponies and traps waiting patiently by as their owners were in amongst the crowd buying the fish by the boxful.

And all the time the last remaining fishing boats straggling into the harbour to offload their catch.

3_2014: For an hour or so in the early morning all would have been bedlam and then calm would have descended over the village as some order was brought out of the chaos and fish salesmen could set out the catch.

3_2016:  The fishwives, those that did not have their husband’s or father’s fish to sell, would buy the fish from the auctioneers.  A system called ‘Kyling’ would ensure that everyone got a share of the best fish. Once bought, the fishwives would go off to hawk the day’s catch around the grand houses of the New Town or wherever their regular round happened to be.