The image above features the salmon stake nets which once ran out to sea in front of the Net House (which itself is surrounded by nets drying in the photograph). This was known as the Lundin Salmon Fishings, and was one of three key 'fishing stations' along the coast of Largo Parish. This station was part of the Lundin Estate. The 1865 valuation roll extract below names the proprietor as Standard Life Assurance Company, who at the time owned the Lundin Estate. When the estate was advertised for sale five years later, 'Salmon Fishings in the Forth' were part of the specification and it was noted that these were let 'from year to year'.
By 1875, when Allan Gilmour owned Lundin Estate, the tenant of the fishing station was David Beveridge, farmer at Buckthorns Farm. However, as the above snippet from the 7 July 1876 East of Fife Record shows, salmon fishing was an unpredictable venture. This piece called the season "a failure" stating that "fish still continue scarce" and "it is feared tacksman will lose by the speculation". This precarious situation probably explains why from that point onwards the Lundin Salmon Fishing was let to large-scale operators from outside of the local area.
In the 1880s, a new era dawned at Lundin Salmon Station, when Andrew Greig Anderson, Edinburgh fishmonger, began his long tenancy. In fact, Anderson not only leased the Lundin station but also had the tenancy of the Strathairly Fishing Station, in front of Dumbarnie Links (more on that site in the next post). Andrew was son of fish merchant John Anderson, who, over the preceding decades, had leased several oyster beds in the Firth of Forth, pioneered the import of ice from Norway and was lessee of many of the best salmon fisheries on both sides of the Forth. A couple of adverts from the 1870s for John Anderson & Sons are below. Andrew's mother was Eliza Greig, daughter of hotel keeper at the Chain Pier Inn, Edinburgh, Andrew Greig, who owned the steamboats that plied between Dundee and Granton, and often called at Largo. Andrew Greig Anderson was the eldest of John and Eliza's fifteen children.
Interestingly, the 1891 census for Largo includes many men with the occupation of 'salmon fishers' who had places of birth around the Montrose area. Presumably these individuals had been brought to Largo by Anderson, who had significant fishing interests and connections around Scotland's coasts . These men lodged together in cottages at Emsdorf.
In 1904, Andrew Greig Anderson, described as a fish, game and ice merchant, died aged 64 from accidental poisoning. At the time of his death, The Scotsman newspaper of 29 January 1904 described him as "possibly one of the largest lessees of salmon fishings in Scotland, having interests at Aberdeen, on the Kirkcudbright Dee, on the Tay and Firth, and at Largo Bay."
By this time, a new long-term occupier of the 'Lundin Salmon Fishings and Cellar' had become established in the form of Joseph Johnstone and Sons of Montrose. This long-established business would retain the tenancy until circa 1940, when it would seem that the Second World War brought about the demise of the Lundin station. The postcard image below features salmon fishers at the Lundin site, with Massney Braes in the background. The stake nets here even featured in artwork by George Leslie Hunter, shown further below.