The Fisher Jessie sculpture arrived in the town on 30th. April 2001. The statue was made by a Glasgow firm - Scott Associates Sculpture and Design. The fisherwife was named by local man Peter Buchan after his Great Great Grandmother Jessie Buchan who was know as Fisher Jessie. These woman had a hard life travelling around the rural farms, weighed down by a large fish creel carried on the back. In her hand she carried a basket to take home the farm produce she traded her fish for. The sculpture includes her little girl (her quine) which I find very endearing and heart rendering. See how the child looks up pleadingly to be carried while she lays a hand on the child's head in consolation. This custom of trade between agriculture and fishing continued up until the 1950's.
For a few days just before Christmas the fishing fleet returns to her home port of Peterhead. It is at this special time the boats are decorated and lit up with Christmas Fairy Lights. As I wrote in another tip the only day they don't sail apart from a Friday is Christmas Day. I was away from home at Christmas this year but managed to catch the remaining decorated boats berthed in the harbour near the fish market just before they cast off their colourful decor and sailed once again. What a pretty sight to light up the dark harbour, the aptly named 'Star Light' was still in port along with a boat registered in Inverness from its home port in Hopeman accompanied by some smaller boats.
The Diamond was a whaling ship in the early 19th. century her home port was Peterhead. She sailed on many a voyage to the south of Greenland. The whaling fleet was large at that time and the whales were hunted to extinction, ships were forced to travel further into more hostile seas. This saw the Diamond hunting for whales further north west in the Davis Straits. The Diamond stayed too long in these icy waters and was trapped in the sea ice in Mellvil Bay along with twenty seven other vessels. One of the ships the Eliza Swan from Montrose managed to break free of the sea ice hold and came back to tell the sorry tale of the whalers who stayed too long. The link tells of more fortunate times in the Bonnie Ships life.bonnie ship the diamond by the Hootenanny singers :) see if you recognise some of them!
Peterhead got its unusual name of The Blue Toon not because, as I have alway thought, that it is always frigidly cold here, but from the woollen stockings fishermen used to wear in the old days. These stockings or socks bore a special set pattern and were hand knitted using course blue wool. The pattern was unique to the town's fisherfolk to identifiy drowned fishermen and trace them back to their roots. This custom led to people from Peterhead being called Bloomogganners, although sometimes today they are known simply as Blue Tooners.