The Forgotten Music of the Arctic Whalers

June 2021

In the 18th and 19th centuries countless whaling ships set sail from Shetland for the Arctic. They brought back whales for their valuable oil, but left behind their music. Maurice Henderson, a fiddle player from Shetland, has been rediscovering these arctic whaling tunes and its surviving tradition in Greenland. Here he plays some of them, and discusses their history.

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    Sam Willis 

    From the Society for Nautical Research in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation, I’m Sam Willis and this is the Mariners mirror podcast, the world’s number one podcast dedicated to all of maritime history. Hello everyone and welcome to the Mariners Mirror podcast. Today we have a cracker of an episode for you. I was lucky enough to meet the excellent Morris Henderson. Morris is a fiddle player from Shetland, who has done a great deal of work exploring the musical legacy of the Shetland whaling in the Arctic. From the period in the 18th and 19th centuries, when whale ships from Shetland played a crucial role in the economic and cultural history of Scotland. By undertaking huge numbers of whaling voyages to the Arctic in search of the whale oil that was so crucial for street lighting, and the textile trade. Morris has tracked down the history behind some of those tunes, and is doing his best to ensure that those Greenland tunes survive. Without further ado, here is the wonderful Morris and his wonderful music. It has indeed inspired me to go to Greenland to try and find some evidence of these surviving Scottish tunes myself. Morris it’s lovely to speak to you today

     

    Morris Henderson 

    is great to join you here.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So tell me about the links between Shetland and the Greenland whalers.

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, it was  Shetland when you’re going back to the 19th century, and even a bit further back than that.The main port Lerwick for whaling ships, stopping here on their way north. So there you will get ships sailing up from Hull and Whitby and from Scotland as well, from Peterhead, Aberdeen, and Dundee. Of course, they would sail up and stop in Lerwick harbour here, just a great sheltered harbour, and they would pick up crew and that was the main thing. The Shetlanders were renown as great handlers or small boats having been involved in this deep sea fishing with small open boats, so they were ideal for joining the whaling  crew.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So they sailed past and just pick you guys up and then carried on up into the Arctic.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, it was going to last stop before the north ice. Coming into Lerwick you would get Shetland men travelling into the town, they would be coming from all the islands, and this would usually be in about April time. They actually call it the Greenland days. So a time of year, word would have got to Shetland that the ships were on their way.

     

    Sam Willis 

    And work was coming.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah. And they would head for the Lerwick trying to join a good ship. And get there in plenty of time and try and sign on for a good crew,  or a good captain.

     

    Sam Willis 

    I like that idea of there being kind of rumours about there being good ships to get on and everyone to be panicked because you’ve got you’ve got to get on the, you know, the Mary Jane or whatever it is, can it be?

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, for sure there was there certainly you didn’t want to get in a boat that was going to leak the whole way. And you’d maybe have to pump the water out all the way to Greenland.

     

    Sam Willis 

    It’s a long way from Shetland to Greenland.

     

    Sam Willis 

    It could be a few weeks if the wind was in the wrong direction. You could be tacking all the way to Greenland. It could take a while.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah. And then I mean, what do we know about? Are there many kind of accounts and stories and letters, asking different question, actually, are you on Shetland really kind of conscious of this heritage this link with the Greenland whalers?

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, well, I suppose, me growing up in Shetland, just the average person in Lerwick everyone probably had heard of the Greenland whaling, and a lot of that’s through the music. That’s one of the first tunes you learn on the fiddle  ‘The Merry Boys of Greenland’.  Nearly everybody knows that tune, someone would say, “Oh, please strike up the Merry Boys of Greenland”. And there’s even a little song verse that goes with it. And I think even that, there’s suddenly you know, the place Greenland.  The whaling and it’s kind your brought up with that in the background. Folk might not know all the details of that, but they, I would imagine a lot of folk we’d have a great grandfather. That would have been at the Greenland Days and probably my grandfather revisits South Georgia. There’s a tremendous a lot of people in Shetland had ancestors that were at South Georgia or Greenland at the whaling. If they were, maybe a boat steerer or something., somebody was well known for that, that story should have been handed down.

     

    Sam Willis 

    a real family links and real family. heritage that’s as he’s already been, I can. In my, my experience, I mean, I come from a naval family. So I know that, you know, so generations and generations of my family were in the Navy. And I suppose the equivalent for you guys is that, you know, off they went into the whaling trade which is a it’s not such a unique trait, an unique experience. Do you guys know much about what it was like for them to go on this on their journeys and to hunt these whales?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Well, certainly, you can think of somebody who’s, well their used to the fishing, that most of them would have been out with the small boats fishing,  which was really hardy  living as it was and very dangerous. So in some ways, going on a bigger ship, we a bit more timber around you it wasn’t so bad. But then once you’ve got up the ice, and out hunting the whales, you actually off in the small boats making chase with a with a huge animal in the water. Not for the faint hearted. The conditions up there, some say that the Shetlanders was kind of cheap labour as well, they weren’t maybe got same quarters as obviously the crew, the main crew and officers. Conditions could be harsh, and often they would get stuck in the ice up there and if they had the winter, at least, they might spend considerable time there on rations. In case they were going to get stuck all winter on the ice. So there’s no question a lot of them. They found that was pretty tough go and tough, tough condition shop there.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Were there any Shetland whaling ships? Or do they all come from somewhere else and just sort of fly by and pick people up?

     

    Morris Henderson 

    No, they were. They were all coming in to Shetland and picking the crews up. So there was no actual Shetland whaling ships? No, it’s mostly save from Hull.  Early days it was more English whaling ships, because the Scottish crews sourced theIR crew from their home ports. And later, then the Scottish ports as well stopped here and picked up crew.

     

    Sam Willis 

    What about. Were there any Dutch whalers or anything, anything coming from Northern Europe,

     

    Sam Willis 

    not stopping in here. But earlier. Still, if you go back then Dutch were prominent up there in the north ice, whaling, but I think they tended to go direct from their own ports or not or not there.

     

    Sam Willis 

    They were up to more Svalbard and a different kind of directly north.

     

    Sam Willis 

    When you had a base up there a village and on the west of Greenland, there’s places that have connection with Dutch names, as well. But  after the Danes had been there, there’s about a rivalry up there, who it’s the Dane settled in the west of Greenland to try and basically, hold the fort there for pair of whaling stations. And quite often the Dutch would come along and burn them out if they were abandoned. So that was a bit of a to and froing and with that. Yeah, so you’ve got the British fleet and the Dutch and the Danes, they were all going up there and probably quite a rivalry between them who in claim claim to these waters.

     

    Sam Willis 

    And I think the fascinating thing here as well, you’ve got the the Shetlanders  providing the manpower and wherever people go, music goes. It’s very rare that people go anywhere and there’s nothing behind. And I really wanted to talk to you about this because you’ve been doing some research into what you know what remains of the Greenland tune’s

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, well, we have this repertoire of students in the Shetland fiddle tradition. And this, ther’s a handful of tunes we call the Greenland tunes, and they were taken back by whalers, are played up at the north ice by the whalers. If you are a fiddle player, you’re quite sought after, especially if you are half decent then they would want you aboard ship for their entertainment. And it’s quite fascinating when you started looking into it. Are there any  accounts of them meeting in with a locals up there, what happened up in the ice when they arrived there. There’s some brilliant anecdotes of ships arriving in the Arctic Circle. There’s a place up there, Holsteins Borg was the Danish name for it, the Shetlanders called Willafjord. And that stayed a from a earlier name, Aveda Fjord for the Dutch and they they would arrive up there and maybe have to tie up alongside ice flows. And there’s accounts of the the Greenlanders coming off with dog sleds, maybe accompanied by the Danish Commissioner that’s up there Then they would clear decks and the fiddles would come out and the dancing would start, and they could easily dance 10 or 12 hours.. They said the women were great dancers, they dance 10/12 hours without fatigue. Obviously, they would be expected about this time, they would have been arriving the same time each year. And he got a welcome when they got there. And it’s quite a social occasion.

     

    Sam Willis 

    And I like that I like that it’s something to look forward to. It’s not these kind of random events or people turning up and it all works with the cycle of the seasons, isn’t it?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah. And they describe going into what they call the ballroom, which is really an old barn or old shed, they probably cleared out the barrels, and blubber casks, and stuff, and just cleared that out and made it a dance floor. And the there’s a description a 60 to 80 people crammed in there, and then three fiddles up at the end of the room, and a flute and a drum. And some of them would have been Greenlanders as well, the fiddles travelled up there and the locals took on  the music and were great players. I really like this interaction with local musicians. And they describe the dance and the kind of weave, the women weaved in and out, and we have a dance here in Shetland, called the Shetland Reel. And it’s three couples, designed for a small room like a croft house, or small farm house. And you get the three couples and they do a figure eight. And then the second half, they do a step dance. So it’s kind of similar to what was been described up there.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So there’s another whole story of dancing here as well, wecan uncover, I think it’s time  you played a tune actually. Yeah. Well carry on talking without listening to something.

     

    Sam Willis 

    I’ll fire up a tune. right then, but that’s a couple of tunes. The first one called Oliver jack. And then I’ll go into one called the Merry boys of Greenland, which is probably one of the most famous whaling tunes from from around here.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Absoutely amazing. I love that so much. I have deep admiration for you. I just don’t understand how people can play the fiddle. Now. I’ve never been able to understand. So I can play anything I would string sideways. That’s fine. But I can’t play the piano. So I can play the banjo and the ukulele and the guitar. That’s fine, piano or fiddle? No chance. When did you learn to play that? Well, that’s all Where did you learn to play the fiddle?

     

    Sam Willis 

    I’ve been playing the fiddlel since Yeah. I’ve probably 12 or 13 or something like that.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Is it a family tradition as well?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Dad can turn a tune on the fiddle and he actually makes fiddles as well as a hobby. Yeah, so it’s, it’s in the Yeah, musical family. Me mum plays the piano. And we had a house that was popular, folk would come along and have sessions and tunes in the house. So it’s always been a pretty lively place to be brought up.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Wonderful, Well, what do we know about those two tunes then?

     

    Sam Willis 

    So the the Merry Boys of Greenland,  I mean that’s a song that was kind of composed after related using the melody. But all of our chat can no Merry Boys, they were just kind of know all over Shetland. So you would have had those fiddler’s mixing from all you get tunes in Shetland you’ll get a tradition from the Isle of Unst. And then you’ll get tunes from xxxxxx from Yells a neighbouring island. Those days travelling between these places for quite rare and they’re all quite remote,  but the certain tunes you find all over Shetland and some of those example the end of whaling tunes so Merry Boys of Greenland.There’s one called Willafjord. I mentioned the place before, but there’s a tune called Willafjord not which we know that was taken back, Bobby Peterson, the late Bobby Peterson, great fiddle player, his father took it back from the whaling. Greenland whaling days. He played it up there on the north ice, we don’t know who compose these tunes.They just landed from another fiddler, out of the fiddler had actually  modestly composed that, or they’ve picked it up from another ship and so they could be from anywhere and this may be a related tune played in in another part of Scotland or something. I don’t know that, we know them as ‘The Greenland Tunes’, I could play you a bit of Willafjord, nobody, that was the thing that the place Willafjord, I would ask folk about it and say whereabouts is this, They say,  in the arctic islands in Greenland somewhere, but they couldn’t pinpoint where it was. So that kind of intrigued me and the more I look into old log books and accounts of folks sailing up there, you would find reference the Aveda Fjord, and Willafjord, and so on, managed to track it down, but I’ll play you the tune. Okay, yeah, this Willafjord.

     

    Sam Willis 

    That was a wonderful one. Yeah.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, that’s got great swing to it, that tune. Great, love to  it. I kept the time for doing it, but probably more like a dancing tempo. So you dance Shetland Reel to that?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, I mean, did the kids growing up in Shetland? Get kind of exposed to this this music and this heritage quite early on?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Oh, yeah. The the fiddle is really popular in lots of children at school learn the fiddle you get lessons at school and also have private lessons, you can get lots of tutors out there. And yeah, there’s literally hundreds of fiddle players, its very popular so those students would be, some of the first ones you would learn, you must know tunes. The Greenland Tunes.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Do you think it’s um I just wonder whether it’s sort of slightly disjointed. Obviously, I’ve you know, sort of playing it in Shetland rather than playing it in Greenland and it’d be quite fun to be able to go and play those those tunes in Greenland.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, well, I did make a trip up there. And I made a trip up to Willafjord to might see it, check the place out for myself. And I arrived there the first night, and  stay in Airbnb, and the lady I was  staying with, an excellant host, then she had all come down to the music venue, that an open mic night. So I literally went down, and went up and played the tunes on the stage.  I said, Well, I’m here for about 10 days, so if there are any dancers around, or anybody that’s interested in the tunes, just look me up. Shetland fiddle player here and especially me it the name of the tune, and it didn’t take long a small town for word to get around. So we actually managed the one night, about 11 o’clock at night and I both a mixture of dance floor outside the house. Got the cheat to play with the local council and some pallets and we made a dance floor outside and some of those dancers came along. There was a guy an accordion He struck up a tune,  actually a bit of a like a Greenlandic version of a Hank Williams song. ‘Cold,Cold Heart, Hank Williams with Greenlandic words. So we stayed on, we had a few sing songs and a few tunes, but as soon as they played the reels, the folk you can see their feet tapping,  and the knew how to move to the tunes. And so they say, right will go outside and try this dance, I had no idea what they were going to dance to I struck up those tunes. The ones I’ve just played there, Willfjord and the Merry Boys of Greenland, All of a xxxx And immediately they join in with a dance. And they had the man and two women in the man and two women. So that’s what the two, two groups are three. And they did around for eight and back for eight. And then he did like a figure of eight. And as they did that they did a back step or a step dance. So it’s very similar form to the dance we have at home. And by the second

     

    Sam Willis 

    Did they all know it, or was there a caller telling them what to do?

     

    Sam Willis 

    No they just dance, and by the second time through the tune, then they had to tune in their heads and they were banging it out with the feet. They just matched, they picked it up, so that was to me was just brilliant, So I was “One more time. Go again.”

     

    Sam Willis 

    That sounds wonderful. I think we should do that again. I think we should we should try get us up to Greenland. I want to go Oh yeah, I’ve been very close. I’ve been to the Denmark straits. You know, the water in between Iceland and Greenland. But I never actually made it to Greenland,

     

    Sam Willis 

    I always said well, chapter two would be to take a group of Shetland fiddlers up there , and maybe even a couple of dancers as well and make make something.

     

    Sam Willis 

    That sounds that sounds fun. I’d love that as well. I mean, you’re saying that, you know, you guys in Shetland are very conscious of the your links with Greenland. Do you think it’s the same the other way around?

     

    Sam Willis 

    No, I think nowadays, it’s I don’t think they probably it’s kind of they know about it. They know the Scottish whalers coming up by the whalers. But it’s it. It’s a bit further back in the history, you know. And there’s been a, I suppose and in between that times, that’s been cod fisheries. And there’s been all sorts of different fisheries that’s going to gone beyond that. As far as the last whalers, I think 1911 was the last Dundee whaler that went up there. So you’re talking and even then, it had faded. It’s really just a few ships they end up with so you’re talking 1820s that time 1830s was when it was really you get up to 60 whalers maybe heading up? Yeah, yeah, fact I did read somewhere that one year, scores be estimated 1400 men showing the whaling from Shetland.

     

    Sam Willis 

    And that’s a huge proportion of your menfolk isn’t that Yeah, yes. And how long would they gone for how many was a bit little bit like the First World War? How long? How long were all the men gone for?

     

    Morris Henderson 

    So that Yeah, they all headed in April, probably back in September. Kinda length of time.

     

    Sam Willis 

    It’s amazing. I wonder if there’s many accounts of the women folk and the kids, you know, back in Shetland sort of, you know, ploughing on with their own lives in the absence of men probably having a nice time.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Generally in Shetland, the women ran the farm, the woman looked after the croft and the animals and they did all that hard graft, Dxxxn in the fields and the men tended to go to the fishing. And they would go to the handling fishing. So they were obviously they would help and farm as well but really, the women were in charge of that, and, and home life.

     

    Sam Willis 

    What sort of fishing were you apart from the whaling what sort of fishing was going on in Shetland?

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, at that time, that was what they called the half fishing. And these were, you’re in an open boat, maybe 30 foot open boat with six oars was called a sixareen. And they would roll or sail off to the fishing which could be 20 miles off deep sea fishing, and they were set a long line, which would be maybe five miles a line, we baited hooks, and you’re catching ling and big fish that you could take back and salt and dry on the beach. And then they would be traded and exported that usually to Spain and places like that, salt fish. There was a huge trade of that and I think at that time, maybe 500 small boats around Shetland going off fishing, and that was a summer fishery used to be the weather conditions. So that was that was where they got the skills to handle in the small boats.

     

    Sam Willis 

    But I suppose that doesn’t get that that fishery doesn’t carry on if everyone’s left to go whaling.

     

    Sam Willis 

    No, that was a big thing, because in those times then you were under the rule these lairds in Scotland landowners, and you fished for the laird and your farm was owned by the laird. In his barter systems there was very little option to come ahead and earn your own money. So the one option was to go to the Greenland whaling and people could earn money independent of the laird. They actually got to the stage they put in a quota system you’re only allowed to take so many men from Orkney and Shetland. I think it was like two or three men per 50 ton shipped so it was actually a quota so maybe up to 20 men was the maximum on some of the big ships Yeah,  that’s so, and also the Navy ,they were competing with the Navy for crew, so they were, suddenly the Navy was getting short of men. Instead they will press gang, they wern’t very popular.

     

    Sam Willis 

    No, no, I mean, you don’t don’t get to spend much time on your on your island if you’re if you’re a proper Shetlander, you’re away.

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, no, that’s that’s almost continued. They went beyond the the fisheries or the half fishingand then you went into cod fishing in the herring And then a lot of people went to the merchant navy in the spring, and a long times away. Six months away a year away, maybe.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to think about how connected these isolated places are, you might think of Orkney or Shetland as being as being particularly isolated at the time but because they were on these sea routes, because they were on these fishing roads and the and the whaling ships. It is the opposite of being isolated, they’re being hassled all the time, by people who coming past trying to get them to go on their ships.

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, that’s true. I mean, they you had literally hundreds of fishing boats in the harbour here. Some periods the Dutch fishery, they say, at Amsterdam was built in the back of Bresay but after which the Bressay fishing bank. Then it was set up as a trading post in there for  fish going into Europe. But the fish was caught off of Shetland here, and Lerwick harbour, actually grew up around the Dutch fishery. And it became a trading post. Then the locals traded with the Dutch here. That was burnt down several times, Lerwick, they say it was a place of ill repute, and bad things happen there, I’m sure. In the early days of Lerwick.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, it would be great stories to discover.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, they said you could nearly walk from oneside of the harbour to the other on the boats, that are so many, maybe 800 boats. Yeah. And this migration of people, then you go into the herring fishing. And that’s kind of the big boom, there. That’s in early 20th century you would maybe get 10 or 15,000 people arriving in Shetland just to work with the herring. A lot of them are coming from England and Scotland. So this kind of history, seafaring, and then exchange of people, very cosmopolitan.

     

    Sam Willis 

    It’s the scale of it that’s disguised and you talk about you know, how many people are coming into work on the herring, and how many people are involved in the boats? And I think you know, nowadays, where you can have such smaller crews operating enormous ships, is that you you forget just the sheer scale of of employment and and industry that’s going on around around coasts, around  places which are which are meccas for fishing. No, and it’s very difficult as historians to kind of help anyone even recreate that.

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Yeah, it’s it’s difficult to, even today, if you know you’re sitting in Lerwick, you can imagine that influx of people every year. So the whalers, I suppose, left a bit of a musical legacy there that’s continued. I could play one tune, it’s a kind of I’d say a boony tune,  called ‘The Greenland Mans Tune’, that’s quite atmospheric. They say that there was Greenland words for it at one time, but they don’t know them any more, but the melody is a really lovely melody. I’ll see  if I can play it, but to play atmospheric you can imagine being up on the north ice..

     

    Morris Henderson 

    That’s a lot of tunes in the Shetland fiddle tradition related to the sea. You hear that in the tune titles. ‘The New Rigged Ship’, ‘Full Rigged Ship’, there’s  one called ‘Up the Shrouds the Sailor Goes’. And there’s other tunes that are linked to the fishing like ‘Da Nippon Ground’ which is a fishing ground, another one just called ‘The New Ground’, the new fishing ground again. This one ‘The Aandoo at the Bow’, and ‘Andoo is a  Shetland word for trying to row gently, keeping the boat in position at a point,  at a bouy. So there’s yeah lots of tune’s in the tradition like that. That’s one called ‘ Cannot put a Humlibaand’. A humlibaand this a Shetland word , instead of using a rollock, then you would you have a kaid, it’s a piece of wood and then a rock that you put the oar through, that’s called, the humlibaand? Joy? Yeah, there’s lots lots of tunes in that tradition like to see the forefoot of the ship. That’s another ‘The Forehead of the Sixareen’ There’s many, many tunes.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So atmospheric and as you say, you know, it needs to be up in the northern ice. And it’s interesting you know, with with the with global warming with the the ice ice melting away, there’s going to be less and less opportunity to, to to put the ice and the music together.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yeah, certainly when I was up there, that was a thought of a topic that was quite widely discussed. The certainly the people living there they said they’d never seen a harsh winter young people there used to we used to get the say the regular minus 40 is rarely is it minus less than minus 20. And that’s a very different kind of cold you get a damp cold. And compared to the when you get into those really low temperatures, so the ice was never forming as thick and the fisherman there in the summer. Then there are fishing in the line fishing and boats and then in the winter bigger the ice and make a hole catch the fish. And it was becoming dangerous. Actually, it wasn’t strong enough. You can go out with a boat and you still dangerous to go out and fish on the ice. So it was quite a serious issue for for just going about what had been the normal professional industries. Yeah, yeah.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Well, you feel like we should we should spread the word of this wonderful music as much as we can. How easy is it for you to find out about these Greenland tunes? How are they recorded?

     

    Sam Willis 

    While in Shetland? We’re lucky occasionally wev’e had it handed down from fiddle player to fiddle player. But I really didn’t expect to find any evidence of fiddlle players in Greenland. Recorded in Shetland our archives only go back really but maybe the 1950s, There’s some collectors that wrote things down in the 40s but actually went to the archives in Copenhagen. There were collectors that went up there that when they went with expedition ships, and had all the latest scientific equipment, photography plates, you know that you can see the high quality photos they took, they also had shown the recording equipment and this is 1905 1906 and among all the vast archive, they have mostly Greenlandic song and dance as drum drum dancers, then there are some snippets and real gems of fiddle music. And it must have been just the there was a dance going on and the stock owner recorded a couple of tunes and listened and that to me is a Shetland fiddle player, I could immediately recognise the style it could easily have been a fiddle player that’s playing on a stage or in a hall here in Shetland. And I, there’s a couple of tracks that we can play an example a tune called ‘Soldiers Joy’, which is one of those universal tunes that you find this travelled all over the world among fiddle musicians. What struck me with the recording was how good, the fiddle player was, really accomplished fiddle play, with tremendous energy and drive through the playing. And you think there’s, I think that there are a couple of recordings that are really old, one in 1906, but that’s another slightly better quality one for the 1930s. They’re still playing fiddle up there then and accardian and other instruments came in. Melodeon came in as well in the early 1900’s so there’s some recordings and melodeon players

     

    Sam Willis 

    I always wanted to play the melodeon

     

    Morris Henderson 

    come from Yeah, that’s great. British tradition and melodeon music. Imagine just came up with the whalers, play an example of that.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So for you listeners there this is the archive clip that Morris has just been talking about.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Morris, thank you so much for talking to me today. I’ve absolutely loved it. And I’m sure I’m going to be back. In fact, I’m going to come to Shetland, I’ve just decided,

     

    Morris Henderson 

    well, if you’re going to do anything on the haaf fishing, get some story about that and inshore, we call it inshore they had fished, they went 20 to 40 miles off, and in open boats and one thing that great deep haaf fishing actually haaf means deep sea ‘haaf’. So if you’re in Norway, haaf is the dep sea. So yeah, I would say recommend that then I we have a sixareen here, you can go off sailing and xx

     

    Sam Willis 

    I mean, I’m going to do that. So everyone who’s listening standby. There’s going to be some videos on YouTube and some audio podcasts. I’m going to go and meet Morris in Shetland, can’t wait

     

    Morris Henderson 

    Seems Great.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Thank you all so much for listening. And if you are as inspired by Morris as I was, please go and buy his book. It’s called in search of a Willafjord published by the Shetland Times, you can also listen to the wonderful music of his band ‘Haltadans’, that’s www.Haltadans.com. They’re a group of not only Morris but some of the finest of Shetlands, other folk musicians as well. Now do please follow the Society for nautical research on social media, you can find links to everything we do at the Society for Nautical Research, website snr.org.uk. And do in particular, check out the Mariners Mirror Podcast, YouTube channel, where we are introducing some innovative ways of presenting our maritime past not least, with some fantastic animations that come alive from ship plans. You can follow us on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and so do keep in touch so that you don’t miss out for those with an active interest in maritime research. Also, check out our free forum on the society’s website. It’s now a massive and impressive miscellany of all things maritime. But above all, if you enjoy this podcast and everything else we do, please show your support by joining the society. It doesn’t cost very much But your annual fee will go towards publishing the most important maritime history and towards preserving our maritime past.

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