22 December 2016 Book on East Neuk published The Scottish Fisheries Museum’s latest publication is “In My Ain Words - An East Neuk Vocabulary” by Mary Murray
Maybe you remember playing cattie and battie in the street wearing your half-mastit breeks? Or perhaps you have always wanted to know the difference between a snotchie and a partan – if so, then this is the book for you!
The original edition of this book was written by Scottish Fisheries Museum volunteer Mary Murray MBE, in 1982. Mary had a rare perspective on the ways of the fishing community being born into it (her father was local drifter skipper Peter Murray) yet having the ability to interpret it from an observer’s point of view, having left the East Neuk to study, teach and travel. She eventually became a lecturer in Primary Education at Dundee University. Her insights had, therefore, both academic depth and eyewitness authenticity. In addition to her accurate observations she wrote with wit and flair.
Mary described her approach to the book: “I was born and grew up in Cellardyke, which between the wars was still the fisher folks’ part of Anstruther. The words in this collection were my first language, for we only “spoke proper” at school and on special occasions. Of course, many of the words were used all over Scotland and most of the fisher words were known, with slight variations, in fisher towns from Eyemouth to Wick. Even in the three miles from Cellardyke to St. Monans there were differences, but since I am a Dyker I have chosen the Dyker words as the basis of this collection with some notes on the variations.”
The re-publication of the book was partly funded by a donation to the Scottish Fisheries Museum by Kenny Anderson. Thanks are also due to Richard Wemyss for updating his line drawings and, in the words of the author in the previous edition - to all those who stopped in the street and said, “Hey! Did ye mind o’ this ane…?”
The book is availbale to buy or order from the Scottish Fisheries Museum, priced £6.50.