Comann Eachdraichd Uig

1800 - À Crabhlasta chun a’ Bhaltaig – From Crowlista to the Baltic

In the early 19th century Uig people traded in dried ling, cod and cured herring. Occasionally, the bigger boats took a north- easterly course, sailing as far as the Baltic ports. In an interview for the local Comunn Eachdraidh in the 1980s, Jessie MacLean, who was born around the turn of the 20th century in Crowlista, spoke of her great-grandfather’s voyages to the Baltic:

“Bha bàta aig mo shean-seanair bho thàinig e don bhaile seo, bàta leis am biodh e a’ dol don Bhaltic. ’S e a dhà mhac a bha còmhla ris anns an eathar, ach bhiodh iad a’ toirt làmh-fheadhainn leotha. Dh’fheumadh iad a dhol don Bhaltic timcheall ceann a tuath Alba, sìos am Muir a Tuath agus a-steach don Bhaltic. ’S e eathraichean gu math làidir a dh’fheumadh iad.

’S ann leis an iasg shaillte agus an sgadan a bhiodh iad a’ dol ann, agus bhiodh iad a’ toirt dhachaigh stuth airson a reic air an slighe air ais”.

“My great-grandfather had a boat, since coming to this village,
a boat that he’d sail to the Baltic. Two sons joined him on the voyage, and they took hands (crew) with them. They sailed around the northern coast of Scotland, down the North Sea, and into the Baltic. It was with the salted fish and the herring that they went and they brought stuff back for selling on their way home”.

Sanais, Comunn Eachdraidh Uig 1987