In the early 1900s herring was a delicacy in some European countries and back then the British Government financially supported owners of large herring boats and gave them a bonus on all herring sold to countries such as Germany, Eastern Europe and Russia. It was an amazing time for the herring industry and at its peak, around 1910, there were as many as 30,000 vessels involved in the Scottish Herring Industry making the Scottish fishing industry the largest in Europe.
Also on Islay herring was "good business" but probably not on a scale as in other fishing villages of Scotland. Islay's herring industry and herring processing took place on the shores of Loch Gruinart, at Tayovullin, also referred to as Tayvullin which means Mill House. You can find it on the other side of the dunes from the Ardnave car park. There is an old photograph of Tayvullin in which you can see all the herring industry buildings. Nowadays the only remains of these busy times are a few concrete foundations not far from the shore and a few remains of what looks like a pier. Because of the stunning weather today we have visited the former fishing village and I took a picture to compare it with the old black and white photograph of busier times. The cottage in the foreground is now a nesting site for Chough.
Old photo of Tayvulin with the Herring Industry Buildings
The view today of Tayvulin
The Chough cottage