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Mark Ferguson: Now the best fish was pickled
fish was it?
Wilson Hayward: Pickled fish was the best ... it was a different fish altogether ...
twas not so much salt into it -- you know -- and you'd just give it amount of salt that
you take it out we'll say in 3 days, 4 days, even if twas there in 5 days, twouldn't hurt
-- but you usually take it out in 4 days and you wash it, you wash it all clean, and you
take it on your flakes, you spread it on the boughs -- we used to have our flakes covered
with flat boughs -- you know you take the limbs off the trees... now during the summer the
leaves used to drop off when they'd dry and ... then the wind blow up underneath it, up
through the boughs and that on the flakes, you know, you make excellent fish -- you take
it up in what they call faggots first, 3 or 4 fish on each other, and then when it dry a
bit more, you put it in bigger faggots, you cover it over. Then after a couple days, good
drying days, you put it in a pile, what they called a pile -- he'd be round. And you keep
it there then for a couple days, you cover it over with the rinds you cut off of the trees
you know and that. You cover it over, now it used to work there, and when it come out of
that it would be flattened right out, you know, and the fish'd be worked and that, you
spread it out then, you carry it in your store, then and good bye, then until you get
ready for to ship ... you put it out before you shipped. We used to have the flakes full
and we spread it on the beach and carry it down on the beach and that then we have trucks
come from the merchants you know or horse and cart ...
Clip Title: "Cutting tails, women salters, and
working as a young boy. " Length: 1:36 min. Credit: Wilson Hayward Year: 1994
Wilson Hayward: My it twas a ball!
Twas not work, twas more or less pleasure!
Mark Ferguson: Did you get a better price for the made fish [I guess]?
WH: Oh Yeah, Oh yes,yes. You'd get a lot of choice, what they call choice fish, you
know. Choice fish was good. (MF : Get a good price for that?) You get a good price
for it yeah.
MF: ...Was your Grandmother unusual for salting or did lots of women do that sort
of thing? WH: Oh boy -- most all the women used to do it! Oh yes, the salting. See the way it
was, you could do most anything with a fish -- I could salt so good as my grandmother. I
could split so good as my father -- better than my father. I could haul trap, even from my
... I suppose when I was six year old and seven year old, my father used to take me out --
he used to have sharemen -- he'd take me out, put me in the back room, and ... the fish I
pulled in I cut me tail and throw it in with his and when the fish be on the flake, I pick
out me cut-tails, I'd have them for myself -- take them to the store... when I got up to 9
or 10, my brother and me, we was pretty sturdy young fellers you know what I mean -- we
could eat a hearty meal and we could do a day's work. ... And we knew what to do --
because we were brought up in the fishery in the boat.
Clip Title: "We only heavy salted in the rush
season." Length: 42 sec. Credit: Wilson Hayward Year: 1994
Wilson Hayward: We only heavy
salted in the rush season -- in July, when we'd be trapping a lot of fish ... but after
that it would be all pickle... you could take your time and the women would be there for
to make it and that ... the women used to cook and make the fish you know ... we used to
help out a lot -- we'd wash it out when we'd be on the land and that ... stormy days and
that, we'd wash it out, we'd carry it on the flake for them and they'd take it up -- they
was their own boss -- they could leave and boil a kettle and get a lunch whenever they
want to ... put on a feed for us when we come in and that.
Clip Title: "The perfect fish." Length: 1:37 min. Credit: Wilson Hayward Year: 1994
Wilson Hayward: Well, the perfect fish would
be good clean, clean fish, the blood --all the blood took off of it you know, we used to
scrape the blood off of it and that. And he'd be a nice colour nice you know, light yellow
colour, and you could sit down and eat it without ... you wouldn't have to cook it. We
used to be on the flake lots of times, and pick the fins off it and eat it -- you know
what I mean... the salt was not that strong... Of course you would strike bad weather
sometimes -- you wash out a couple puncheons of fish sometimes, put it out, you get a week
of bad weather -- well that fish wouldn't make choice -- you know it would deteriorate and
when the fish would be made well you'd get Madeira for it ... second class ... and then
there's other times you get real hot weather with no wind ... the fish used to sunburn and
then when it dried it'd get sticky on the back -- you could rub the skin off with your
thumb... sunburned fish. You had to watch your fish -- sometiemes you'd cover it over with
boughs and that when the sun be hot, or you'd take it up ... most of the times you'd cover
it over with boughs and that so that the sun's ray wouldn't get ... put the boughs on top
of the fish.
Clip Title: "Getting rinds and the
collapse of the fishery foretold." Length: 2:02 min. Credit: Wilson Hayward. Year: 1994
Wilson Hayward: We used go in the bay, get
aboard the boat, go across the bay up there where lots of fir trees was to, and we'd take the
axe and we'd shim it down -- we
have a shim ... made out of wood, we take off the rind. And we roll them up, tie them up,
put them in our boat and bring them across and the next day then, we take it out, and we
spread it out, spread it right down. One layer that way, another layer that way, and we
put rocks on them then, pressed right out, and over the summer they'd dry out then, we
used to cover up our fish with that ... [they could use ones they cut in spring that same
summer] ... we use them for four or five years perhaps -- we used to have felt and that
too, but felt used to be hot. When the sun be shining, if you have fish in piles... the
... felt used to be hot, now the rinds... that would be cooler -- it wouldn't be hot so
the fish wouldn't burn underneath. But felt was hot cause there's tar into it ...
Mark Ferguson: So you wouldn't have to go to get rinds every year?
WH: No no ... you have your rinds all put in your store ... you can put your rinds, four
down over the faggots you know - you know - you put your rocks on them -- we have rocks up
on the fish... so the wind wouldn't lift it up... everything, my son, was perfect! ...
there was a plan for everything. The old people... there was no universities could teach
them you know what they knew. It was always there naturally passed on from one generation
to the other. They knew about weather they knew about fish and they saw this coming --
they preached it for years and years and years when they saw the spawning grounds tore up
out there. They said that this was going to be the end of our fishery ...