Fishwives photographed in 1892

"Gossip on the Beach"

Musselburgh Fishwives by the shore.  Photographed during the Photographic Convention of the UK in Edinburgh, 1892.

  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society                                     Photographer:  T Sutton

This photograph entitled "Gossip on the Beach" shows Musselburgh fishwives.  Their outfits were similar to those of the Newhaven Fishwives.


"Gossip on the Beach"

Photographed during the 1892 Convention

of the Photographic Society of the United Kingdom

The September 1892 edition of The Practical Photographer gives an interesting account of how the photograph above was taken, during the Convention of the Photographic Society of the UK, held in Edinburgh in 1892.  It is described as being one of Mr T Sutton's Convention Results.   The journal explained:

"It was obtained on on of the "off" excursions to Musselburgh.  Messrs Sutton (Derby), Wall (The Amateur Photographer) and Clout (Edinburgh Society) had heard such enthusiastic reports of the picturesqueness of the Musselboro' fish-wives that they decided to form a private party to visit Musselboro' which

was a boro'
When Edinboro' was nane
An' Musselboro' 'll be a boro'
When Edinboro's gane.

They walked up the toon and doon the toon, but no fish-wife could they see.  Then they spied a policeman who told them they would find plenty of fish-wives on the beach.  So they hunted up the beach and down the beach and still ne'er a fish-wife. 

Not having Mr MH Smith to bawl "fish-wives ahey!" as he is celebrated for doing on such occasions, they approached an old fisherman and asked him for three fish-wives.   ...   Eventually he returned with one only,  but when it was explained to her that even Conventionists could not make a "group" of one fish-wife, she undertook to find two others and eventually did so."

Below is another photograph of fishwives at  Musselburgh, a carbon print .  Please click on the image to enlarge it.

 Carbon Print of Musselburgh Fishwives