Fresh frae the Forth – It’s time to sing whilst we work! On Sunday November 1st The Thrive Archive presented an hour of story and song with Newhaven Community Choir at The National Library of Scotland.
Commissioned by the outreach team for The Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2015 our curator Jan Bee Brown worked with the choir and storyteller Marie Louise Cochrane to celebrate the feisty fishwives of Newhaven and their community in response to the wonderful exhibition Lifting the Lid .
Jed Milroy leads the choir set up by Citizen Curator two years ago. They sing a mixture of soul and folk ballads as well as tackling traditional fishy songs from the repertoire of the famous Fishwives and Fisherlassies’ Choirs. Their USP is that they always get the audience singing along.
We followed the story of one young lassie – Charlotte Eadie (Chatty -for short) who, losing her job in a factory in Leith when the heroes came home after The First World War followed the herring. Her daughter is in the choir and Chatty’s heart-breaking adventures as a gutting quine moved us all so much that we have now found our next research project Come Awa – the title comes from the famous Song of the Fish Gutters:
Come all ye fisher lassies now and come awa wi me,
Fae Cairnbulg and Gamrie and fae Inverallochie,
Fae Buckie and fae Aiberdeen and a’ the country roon,
We’re awa tae gut the herrin, we’re awa tae Yermouth Toon.