Cromarty Archive

Mussel Pickers at the Harbour

Mussel Pickers at the Harbour

Date Added: 17 March 2005 Contributor: Margaret Owens Year: 1979 Picture No: 1077

Maurice Shepherd with a young Blair Mackay behind him on the left. Buller Mackay, someone hidden and Ronald Young in glasses on the right.

The bus driver is Billy Roy, who was also a regular visitor to Cromarty as a football referee.

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I worked with Maurice and Buller at this in the summer of '79. We were working for Gerard Fisher who was processing the mussels at Conon Bridge cold store and sending them to France. We had two boats, one aluminium one and one fibreglass with a cabin.

We collected the mussels from the beds near Saltburn, and then Robbie Lewis would transport them to Conon. He'd bring back paper sacks full of shells from the processing which we'd take a mile out to sea and then dump - wouldn't be allowed now.
Comment left on 17 March 2005 at 18:15 by Garve Scott-Lodge
Billy Roy used to drive the school bus, he was a nice bloke and was always a good laugh. He used to rock the bus when driving along or when he heard you coming down the stairs from the top deck he would jam the brakes on - bus drivers wouldn't get off with that sort of thing today. Comment left on 17 March 2005 at 19:56 by Calum McBean
Have spoken with Maurice, and the obscured person is Ernie, a German who used to come over to Cromarty and work on the salmon fishing each year. Maurice says that whilst working on the mussel boat he used to rinse his false teeth by holding them in the water over the side of the boat as it was moving, but unfortunately let them go one day! Comment left on 21 March 2005 at 12:19 by Garve Scott-Lodge
Now Now Now Auntie Margaret surely you can tell your own nephews apart by now. That's Moray Mackay with his dad and brother and not me. The nose gives it away. Comment left on 25 March 2005 at 09:06 by Ronald Young
I think the partly obscured person is Erwin Roeling !!!!!!!!!?? Comment left on 03 April 2005 at 20:46 by HAZEL PENDLE (NEE MACLEAN)
Buller Mackay is my Granda and Blair is my Uncle, and they both look funny! Comment left on 19 March 2006 at 11:53 by Kyrena
The person hidden is Ernie the German - well that's what we called him. Comment left on 10 January 2007 at 20:58 by Maurice Shepherd
did Ernie not live laterly under the snooker club, or is that another one? Comment left on 11 January 2007 at 18:22 by Sue Florence
He lived there for a while, then he moved to one of the tin cottages on the links. Comment left on 11 January 2007 at 20:30 by Maurice Shepherd
cheers Maurice, I seem to remember that Willie Hourston had a wee brick and brack roomie opposite him-- it was like Alladins cave-wonderfil!!! Comment left on 12 January 2007 at 20:32 by Sue Florence
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