William SinclairThe Art of Coopering
Duration: 17m 20s
Recorded: 23 September 2017
About this recording
William Sinclair describes his time spent as an apprentice cooper in the 1950s in Wick as the herring fishing came to a close. He talks about the art of coopering and the means of testing a barrel by pumping air into it. He tells of the Russian merchants tasting the saltiness of the herring prior to purchasing them. Hear how the herring gutters used their elbows to break the ice formed on the top of the barrels on cold wintry mornings. William describes a number of jobs he undertook during his working life, including his time at Dounreay when he received his call-up papers for National Service.