The burgh arms of Peebles depicts three salmon in the Tweed;...
Fieldworkers
Date 1971
Track ID 26967
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Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1972.203.B5

Original Tape ID

SA1972.203

Summary

The burgh arms of Peebles depicts three salmon in the Tweed; anecdotes about poaching.

The motto on the burgh arms of Peebles translates as: "Increase by swimming against the stream," and refers to salmon spawning in the Tweed. The arms on the old Town House erroneously has two fish going upstream and one coming down, so it was referred to as 'The Poacher's'. In the winter, when outdoor workers such as builders and masons could not get work, they turned to poaching. The poachers would walk across the weir, take a salmon with a cleek, and walk away over the bridge at the old gasworks.

A hotel proprietor asked a poacher to provide a twenty-pound salmon. The salmon provided turned out to be twenty-six pounds, but the hotelier would only pay for twenty pounds. When the hotelier's back was turned, the poacher told the barman he had been promised a bottle of whisky, and he got it. On another occasion when a poacher was asked for a twenty-pound salmon he could only get an eighteen-pounder, so he filled it with water to make up the weight. Once, two poachers retrieved salmon from where they had hidden them in a snowdrift, right under the noses of the bailiffs. Most poaching was for the pot. Mr Lawson still has his leister, but not the ring. He and another man once went at night to retrieve salmon they had hidden. They thought they had seen a ghost, but it turned out to be a well-known poacher whose bald head they had seen gleaming.

Item Location

County - Peeblesshire

Parish - Peebles

Village/Place - Peebles

Language

English

Genre

Story

Collection

SoSS