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A photograph of George Bethune

George Bethune

Dunbeath harbour

Born: 1935

Duration: 19m 51s

Type: Audio

Filesize: 12.7 Mb

Recorded: 12 November 2019

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About this recording

“There is a long history of fishing and the harbouring of boats at Dunbeath,” explains local historian George Bethune as he talks about the history of the harbour, fishing and boat building. He also explains that estate owner, ‘Sinclair of Freswick’ commissioned the engineer Thomas Telford to draw up plans for a harbour at Dunbeath, and plans for villages at Balachladach and Portormin. Although the plans were drawn, the project collapsed due to the bankruptcy of Sinclair.

George describes the development of the herring industry, salmon fishing and fishermen ‘going to the creels’. He also talks about his own family’s involvement in ‘the fishing’.

In conclusion, he describes the flocks of herring gulls that gathered around the bustling harbour. Aware that the gulls have all but disappeared from the area, George was inspired to write a poem, ‘Dunbeath Maas: A Tribute’.


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