Friday, October 7, 2011

Working Donkeys

This post is for Dina of Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo.  She has worked with donkey rehabilitation.  When I told her about the Flamborough donkeys the fishermen used to haul the fish up the cliffs she expressed a wish to see a photographs.  Well I have a couple, (as I have of just about anything to do with Flamborough!)
So here they are:
These baskets are full of crabs from the North Landing.  This photo was probably taken about the early 1940's.

This photo shows the gathering of sea birds' eggs, which was outlawed in 1953.  The fishermen went over the cliffs (about 3-400 ft. high) gathering the eggs.  It was dangerous to say the least, but the eggs were very popular and for the fishermen just another way of keeping food on the table when fishing was bad.   The fishermen really believed that the gulls were like chickens and would just keep on laying eggs ready for collecting.  I read this fact in one of my many books on the history of Flamborough.  It was a direct quote from one of the old fishermen. This photo was also taken around the 1940's.

I have another photo somewhere of the baskets full of fish. I used it as a basis for a painting I did and now I can't find it. I'm sure it's not very far away.

14 comments:

Rowan said...

What wonderful old photographs - I love seeing these little pieces of history.

claude said...

Hello Chris !
I love the charm of these old photos.
Post very interesting.
Yes, Chris, I spoke in my previous post of chickens. The publicity on the balloon is about chickens raised in my Department out in the open.They are in big hen houses only for the night.

Scriptor Senex said...

Interesting as always, thank you.

jabblog said...

Very interesting. I didn't know that gulls' eggs were once collected.
It was fun to see the little boys with their school caps - of course, everyone wore hats when they were outside the house then, though I notice a couple in the background without headgear - tut, tut!

conservativelybohemian said...

What a fabulously interesting post Chris!!

snafu said...

Interesting bit of history in pictures. School caps were worn right up to the 1960s by order of the school and maybe also because shcool uniform was the only set of clothes some kids had. Caps are still worn out of school in some British Publisc schools but these are very expensive schools as a rule. Most have not insisted on caps for a long time.
For those not familiar with the strangely inappropriate British term, 'Public School'. This is actually a private school you have to pay for your kids to attend. Most kids in the UK attend a free state school.

Morning's Minion said...

Making a living has meant such unceasingly hard labor for many people--and the animals weren't spared either. I have read of the pit ponies used in the coal mines of Britain. We animal lovers cringe at some of this, just as we deplore the use of child labor.
Still, the photos are an intriguing glimpse of another time and place and I really want to believe that most people valued the beasts who worked with them and saw to their welfare as best they could.

Wanda said...

Oh what marvelous pictures, Chris. I love the history behind them. Sea Gull eggs...interesting.

Dina said...

Oh, what a treat! Thanks Chris, for taking the time and trouble to find these valuable photos of yesteryear.

The donkeys look like they are in good shape. All those baskets must have been well balanced to stay on. Hey, there's even a little boy sitting on the donkey.
Domesticated donkeys are intelligent and get bored with nothing to do. I think these were happy to do useful work and help their human friends.

Once I saw old movies of men hanging on cliffs, collecting eggs. Maybe it was Flamborough.

Thanks again!

Rosy said...

I just "love old photos" they say a lot about the old ways, a lot of history in these photos here. Wow that is a dangerous way at collecting eggs up so high, I wonder if they used ropes back in those days to keep themselves from falling off of the cliffs, like tie the rope to the donkeys maybe.

I found this very interesting.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Fantastic photographs. Thanks for sharing.
xx

MorningAJ said...

I've got a few books like that from Scarborough.... wonder why ;)
There's a way to switch off the comment thingy, by the way. Somewhere in your settings. I'll have an explore and let you know where it is.

MorningAJ said...

OK... so you need to go into Dashboard. Settings. Comments. And somewhere in there you have the option to turn off word verification with a tick box.
Happy hunting!

Elizabeth said...

Fabulous photographs. When we were at the Arctic Circle in the summer, they were still collecting puffin and gull eggs to eat in the same way as the Flamborough folk used to do. x