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50 Years of The Scottish Fisheries Museum

50 Years of The Scottish Fisheries Museum

As part of a series of events and exhibitions designed to celebrate the Museum’s anniversary year we will be holding an exhibition of the Museum’s development over the last 50 years.

From the earliest recorded history of Anstruther, fishing was the mainstay of the town.  At one time, more fish were caught, processed and traded here than at any other harbour in Scotland.  The fishing industry also supported many associated trades, and was responsible for a large percentage of trade in its own right.  Cured fish were exported to other parts of Scotland, to England, and abroad to Europe.

However, by the latter 20th century, the fishing industry was changing and Anstruther was no longer as important as a fishing harbour.  A group of people, concerned that a way of life would disappear without any trace or recognition, got together to form the Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust, with the aim of establishing a museum to mark the fishing heritage of Scotland.  Anstruther, with its past importance to the industry, was the obvious location to choose.

The Museum, founded by the Charitable Trust and opened in 1969, has grown in both size and strength over the years.  Starting as a relatively small site based around a historic courtyard, the galleries have gradually spread to take in neighbouring houses, a boatyard and various other buildings including a smokehouse and even a pub.

Along the way, many talented and dedicated people have kept the Museum growing, and kept things going during periods of difficulty.  The collections are now Recognised as of National Significance and the Museum is always keen to develop further its high standards for customer service and collections care and display.

The exhibition includes many photographs charting the Museum’s history so far and is sure to evoke memories for the many people who have been involved in one way or another over the years.  Also on show are some of the stars of the collections, including some of the very first pieces that were donated, and also some of the curiosities, such as a murder weapon, that have found their way into the Museum.



Scottish Fisheries Museum

The Scottish Fisheries Museum is operated by an independent charitable trust and tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry and its people from the earliest times to the present.


Exhibition Details :

The exhibition, entitled SFM @ 50, will run from 5 November 2019 until 8 January 2020 during our usual opening hours (Mon – Sat: 10-4.30, Sun 12-4.30).

It is on show in our Merchant’s Room Gallery; Admission is free

Events Programme :

Museum Memories Afternoon Tea

Sunday 10th November, 12-3pm

To mark the opening of our SFM@50 exhibition in the Merchant’s Room, join us as we look through our Museum Memories – photos, videos, and written recollections of the Museum over the last 50 years.

If you have any material at home that you would like to share with us, do feel free to bring it along with you on the day.

Free, no booking required.


AIA Anster Nichts: 50 Years of the Scottish Fisheries Museum

Thursday 21st November, 7:30- 8:30pm, Anstruther Parish Church

In this talk, Linda Fitzpatrick, Curator, will review the developments of the last 50 years and look forward to some exciting plans for the future.




For further information please contact Linda Fitzpatrick, Curator


A : St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB         
T : 01333 310628    
E :

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