Past & Present

The Whaling Station in the 1950s

After the 2nd World War there was a brief resurgence of the industry. A Norwegian, Captain Jesperson, refurbished some of the buildings in 1950 and ran the whaling station for two seasons using one catcher vessel. He employed 50 local men and women to work in the factory.

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Whaling ships at anchor by the station, 1952. Photo courtesy of Donald Hodgson

Little survives today of the original buildings, which were built of timber with corrugated iron roofs. They included a manager's house, workers accommodation, a boiler house and cookery. There were also timber jetties and slipways, winches, and open areas for flensing and cleaning whale bones.

<2 photos to be scanned in to go here of the Whaling Station in operation in the 1950s.>

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The Station Manager’s House, 1954. Photo courtesy of John Murdo Morrison

The memorial stone which Captain Jesperson erected for his much loved dog Sam is seen here on the far left of the picture and is standing still.

The whaling station is a significant reminder of an industry that is no longer part of Scotland's economy. Today we value the opportunities of whale-watching. Off these shores minke whales, orca (killer whales) and pilot whales can be seen. But the fin, sei and right whales that once made up most of Bun Abhainn Eadarra’s whaling catch have largely disappeared from the waters further west.


By Jill Harden

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