Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag .... A Souvenir of Great Yarmouth

A Souvenir of Great Yarmouth

Written by Eric John MacDonald 

Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag ("the lark above me singing"), and the English version, A Souvenir of Great Yarmouth, tell the life story of Mairi, now in her 70s and resident in a care unit, as she looks back to her younger days as one of the 'Herring Girls'.   

Herring fishing was the bedrock of the economy for many coastal towns from Lerwick in the North to Great Yarmouth in the South. From the mid 19th century until its decline and eventual collapse in the years after the 2nd World War. Fortunes were made by a lucky few whilst thousands of others made the bare minimum of a living working in the industry. Women like Mairi, employed as gutters and packers, followed the fishing fleet around the country, season after season until the boom became a bust and they were no longer needed. A familiar story?
Based on extensive interviews with the last surviving Herring Girls, the play incorporates traditional songs and visual imagery into the telling of a life story.Mairi has regrets but no trace of self-pity; rather she has an air of defiance, dignity and indomitable good humour as she looks back on a life well lived. 

The play has been performed in Gaelic at venues throughout the islands including Stornoway, Shawbost, Carloway, Ness and Eriskay, and was broadcast on Radio Nan Gaidheal on New Years Eve 2011.  See the full list of past performances click here.

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Inspiration for Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag

Pictures courtesy of Stornoway Historical Society, Comann Eachdraidh Uig, Comann Eachdraidh na Pairc. Copyright reserved; please contact us for info.


Written by Alasdair a’ Bhocsair Campbell

RehearsalIn a Saturday morning courtoom, two Leodhasachs relate their eventful account of a trip to Skye. But the court officials have other things on their mind. 

Latest news 06. March - Online Music Session Hebrides 

Cabraich Community Arts  have been awarded funding by the Corra Foundation to support musicians and audience to upskill, to join a weekly Hebrides online music session.

Bayhead Sessions, the long running, weekly live event, was hit by the pandemic restrictions in March 2020. Now organisers aim to co-ordinate and support new technology skills, to re-unite the thirty participants in a new online setting.  

This support for Cabraich Community Arts, will provide one to one workshops, for people using their own device, to access and use Zoom and other online platforms.

Cabraich co-ordinator Magaidh Smith said ‘Many new friendships and community networks were created through the open door, weekly music nights at Bayhead Sessions in Stornoway. The pandemic has left many people isolated and our new weekly online event, is a chance to re-establish those links and create new experiences.

Although we aim to reach out to the musicians who played together at Bayhead Sessions pre-Covid and their audience, we also welcome anybody interested in learning new technology skills and participating in a local music setting”

More information on technology support from magaidhsmith@gmail.com or 01851 860204.