Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Eyemouth Harbour Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE EYEMOUTH HARBOUR REEL (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Ruary Laidlaw St Abb's Collection

1- 8 1L casts, followed by 1M, crosses below 3s, casts up behind Men and across to original place. 1s face down
9-16 RSh reels of 3 on sides
17-24 1s dance down nearer hands joined (3 steps), dance up and cast to 2nd place (2s step up 23-24)
25-32 1s+3s dance RH across, 1s+2s dance LH across

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

The Eyemouth Harbour Reel
A 32 bar reel for three couples in a four couple set

1 - 8 The first lady casts off two places, followed by her partner, dances down round the third lady and across the dance, round the third man, up behind the third and second men and across the dance to her original position, her partner following all the way to his original position.
Both couples finish facing down ready for...
9-16 First couple dance Right Shoulder Reels of Three on the side with the second and third couples.
17-24 First couple then dance down the middle of the dance for three steps, turn and dance back up the middle to the top and cast off to second place, the second couple move up on bars seven and eight.
25-32 First couple then dance a right hand wheel once round with the third couple, then left hands once round with the second couple ready to start again from second place. First lady just dances straight into the left and wheel with her partner following.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Ruary Laidlaw, 1998)

Dance Information

This dance, The Eyemouth Harbour Reel, was composed as a simple reel to teach Right Shoulder Reels of Three.

Eyemouth, at the mouth of the Eye Water, was the place where my brother and I went to school. It was a large fishing village whose numerous trawlers, smells of fish, tar and salt and stone walls of the harbour itself, were a constant source of fascination to us.

(Dance information by the deviser, Ruary Laidlaw)

Eyemouth is a small town and civil parish in Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the main north-south A1 road and just 8 miles (13 km) north of Berwick-upon-Tweed and has a population of about 3,420 people (2004).

The town's name comes from its location at the mouth of the Eye Water. The Berwickshire coastline consists of high cliffs over deep clear water with sandy coves and picturesque harbours.

A fishing port, Eyemouth holds a yearly Herring Queen Festival. Notable buildings in the town include Gunsgreen House and a cemetery watch-house built to stand guard against the Resurrectionists (body snatchers).

Many of the features of a traditional fishing village are preserved in the narrow streets and 'vennels', giving shelter from the sea and well-suited to the smuggling tradition of old.

The people of the town still remember 14th October 1881, Black Friday, the day when a terrible storm sank 23 of the fishing boats, half the fleet, and 129 fishermen were drowned.

Muriel Johnstone wrote the lament Eyemouth Harbour Piano Music after visiting a memorial site to the lost men.

Eyemouth Harbour - Information Video

Eyemouth Harbour
Looking Across Eyemouth Harbour To Gunsgreen House

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Eyemouth article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Jennifer Petrie under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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