HP5004 : Gloup Voe

taken 9 years ago, near to Gloup, Shetland Islands, Great Britain

This is 1 of 5 images, with title Gloup Voe in this square
Gloup Voe
Gloup Voe
Looking down on the site of the former Haaf fishing station at Gloup. In 1881 there was a terrible disaster here (see the shared description below). The disaster spelt the beginning of the end for Haaf fishing. Today the community of Gloup is consequently far smaller than it was a century or more ago - much the same as many an isolated rural community, particularly in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
The Gloup Disaster

Haaf fishing used open boats called sixareens, with six oars and a simple square sail. They ventured up to fifty miles out into the perilous North Atlantic ocean in a form of fishing that had been practised around the coasts of Shetland for generations. The crews often had to take risks with the weather, as without the benefit of modern forecasts and going so far offshore the chances of disastrous changes were ever present. Combined with this, the harsh landlords also required that fishing was attempted at every opportunity. As a consequence it was a very hazardous way of life and crews were often lost, but in 1881 this regular attrition became a full disaster.
For several days in late July 1881 the weather had been so inclement that not even these brave fishermen were foolhardy enough to venture to sea, but the 20th dawned clear with light winds.
Entirely unaware of an impending storm heading down from Iceland with hurricane-force winds, crews set out from Gloup and other little coastal settlements for the fishing grounds 40 miles offshore.
Of those that left, ten boats failed to return - six sixareens from Gloup, one each from Ronas Voe, Fethaland and Haroldswick and a small boat from Havera. 58 men lost their lives, 36 of them from Gloup. The disaster left 34 widows and 85 orphans.
The monument that now stands on the hillside of Gloup overlooking the Voe is of a woman holding a baby looking forlornly out to sea. It was erected one hundred years after the catastrophe.
For more information see the Shetlopedia articles on
Haaf fishing here Archive LinkExternal link
The Gloup Disaster here Archive LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rob Farrow and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
HP5004, 44 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Monday, 29 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Thursday, 17 November, 2011
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Docks, Harbours 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! HP 5041 0444 [10m precision]
WGS84: 60:43.1945N 1:4.6761W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! HP 5064 0433
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Haaf Fishing 

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