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Blessing the Nets marks start of salmon fishing season

Blessing of the nets at Norham to mark the start of the salmon season

Blessing of the nets at Norham to mark the start of the salmon season

A crowd gathered at Norham last week to mark the start of the salmon fishing season on the River Tweed and to take part in the traditional Blessing of the Nets ceremony.

Reverend Rob Kelsey led the service, for a congregation of around a dozen people.

Jim Cameron of Norham had the honour of casting the first line of the new season, and as expected and in keeping with tradition did not land a fish with his effort!

It is now four year since a February salmon was caught on this beat.

The Blessing of the Nets, in its current form, has taken place at the Pedwell Pool in Norham for the last three years. It is based on a ceremony that had taken place since the middle ages, before dying out.

In times gone by, the first salmon caught would be offered to the local parish priest.

The congregation sang the hymn ‘Shall We Gather at the River’, and enjoyed a sip of whisky, some of which was also tipped into the Tweed as part of the blessing.

Reverend Kelsey was particularly taken by one distant spectator - a white egret watching the goings-on with great interest from the opposite bank.

 

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