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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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dashed nearly the whole of these English hired boats to pieces among the rocks. None of them happened to be out, and the whole shore to westward was literally strewn with wreckage. The few boats that were left continued to go out for some years afterwards, but it was of no use. " Observing a neighbour approaching, he went off. It is difficult to get a fisherman to speak of his work.
The dredgers while at work, either "clam" or " oyster" fishing, sing songs which have a very peculiar effect when borne over the waters. We have heard it in the early morning, many times, fully two and a half miles inland. The effect was pleasing, wild, and weirdlike. The men themselves, as with other things, are very reticent in speaking of their song singing. They scout the very idea, however, of the airs they use being of Norwegian extraction, as held by certain writers, and maintain that the airs they use are like to the songs they sing, real " hame made, " and this is how it is done: there is a recognised leader of song in every boat; he starts whatever air he pleases, and no matter what jumble of words comes first he always aims at turning them into lines that will jingle, the rest following, and keeping time most faithfully. The following are samples picked up by the way:
" Whae'll dreg a buckie,
I'll dreg a clam,
I'll dreg a buckie,
And I'll be luckie,
And I'll no be lang. "
Another sample of song secured is:
" Heave, aho, and away we go,
What care we for calm or gale,
Aye take a dram, as lang as ye can,
And brandie's gude among het ale.
" Heave, aho, and away we go;
Mag, an' Meg, an' Jess, an' Jane,
Oh how they lauch when we get fish,
But oh how they girn when we get nane.
" Heave, aho, and ahame we go;
See them awaiting on the green,
Big lots, or wee lots, or nane ava,
Gin we dinna try we shall be seen. "
Ever since these scalps were destroyed by over-dredging it has not paid to follow out the trade, consequently there has been little done in that way for a great many years. A few are brought in occasionally when the dredgers are out seeking clams for bait, but the Pandore now is scarcely ever heard of. An old dredger gave this other couple of verses, which had been repeated by his father when he was a boy:
" Lady Hyndford's lang tails,
Comin' doon the brae 0,
She gets a' the creamy milk,
We get a' the whey O.
" Ye, ho, and away we go,
Revelling amidst the gale O,
And if gude luck our lot should be,
We'll drink the milk o' the whale O. "
Lady Hyndford, a former proprietress of Prestongrange, who was very kind to the fishermen, had been observed by the dredgers coming down the brae towards Bankfoot before setting out one night, and they simply put her ladyship into their dredging song. The reference to the whale in the hindmost line was the public-house at Cuthill which went by that name, and the milk of the whale, of course, was Thomson the innkeeper's whisky.
On Saturday forenoon, November 2nd 1901, after a cessation from oyster dredging for many years, one of the old boats went out. Soon the "dreg song" was struck up, and came wafting beautifully over the waters. It continued till a great many villagers turned out, and they listened delightedly to the old familiar strains. The boat brought in between two hundred and three hundred oysters. It has been out several times since then, and has never been less successful. The dredgers say that the oyster beds are again beginning to look healthfu', and their hopes are great for the future.

The venerable institution known as " The Incorporation of Sailors of Prestonpans " must be now fully two hundred years old, because we find as early as 1744, that, owing to restrictive measures passed at that period by the management regarding the admission of new members, the number of the " incorporated " became subsequently reduced to two members only, Messrs James Warroch and George Warroch.
It is evident that others would have joined the society, but they could not be admitted owing to the restrictive measures referred to; so in 1798 certain seamen of the town raised an action before the Court of Session concluding that this should
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