Ceremony for salmon fishing season

A traditional blessing to mark the start of the salmon fishing season on the River Tweed was held at Pedwell Landing in Norham on Friday morning.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 06:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 14:56 pm
A Blessing of the Nets ceremony was carried out at Pedwell, Norham to mark the start of the salmon fishing season.

The Pedwell Landing is one of many sites along the Tweed where, for about 1,000 years, net fishing for salmon was a major part of the local economy, until its demise in the 1980s.

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There was a short service, conducted by Rev Rob Kelsey, followed by a wee dram.

In the past, the Vicar of Norham said prayers of blessing at midnight at the start of the new salmon fishing season on February 1. Part of the tradition was that, if a fish was caught during the first casting of the nets, then it was given to the vicar.

Norham fishery was actually closed in 1987. Before then the ancient custom began at midnight on February 14. The Pedwell Prayer would ask for a blessing on the fishery, its crew, its nets and its catch. The shot was rowed and the vicar would be presented with the first salmon. The nets men and a few friends might then retire to the shiel for a wee nip of whisky.