Opening times

  • Monday 10am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am-4pm
  • Friday 10am-4pm
  • Saturday 10am-4pm
  • Sunday 10am-4pm
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 10am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am - 4pm
  • Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday 10am - 4pm
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 10am - 4pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am - 4pm
  • Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday 10am - 4pm
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 9.30am-5pm
  • Tuesday 9.30am-5pm
  • Wednesday 9.30am-5pm
  • Thursday 9.30am-5pm
  • Friday 9.30am-5pm
  • Saturday 9.30am-5pm
  • Sunday Closed
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Welcome to the Lasting Impressions project

A community exploration of salmon fishing heritage in Berwick-upon-Tweed on Berwick Bridge's 400th birthday year.

In the summer of 2024, we are engaging the community with Berwick’s rich fishing heritage on the 400th anniversary year of Berwick Bridge.

Berwick Bridge & Salmon Fishing

Berwick Bridge, or the Old Bridge as it is known locally, was built in 1624. It is built from sandstone, probably quarried at Tweedmouth. It is an important and locally-loved crossing point over the River Tweed, which is still open to traffic (although now one-way). King James VI of Scotland / King James I of England, while travelling south to his coronation in London, complained about the rickety wooden bridge that was there beforehand and eventually, after some local campaigning, the Crown agreed to fund a stone bridge to replace it.

The impressive civil engineering structure is now 400 years old and, throughout that time, it has been witness to one of Berwick’s oldest trades: fishing. Once a busy port with many thriving fisheries, Berwick was a centre for the salmon industry. Traditionally, fishermen would row out into the River Tweed in flat wooden boats named ‘cobles’ equipped with nets to encircle the fish. Today, the town continues to pay homage to one of its oldest traditions. The crowning of Berwick’s Salmon Queen traditionally takes place in mid-July as part of the annual celebrations of the Tweedmouth Feast.

Heritage Windows & Gyotaku

To celebrate Berwick’s fishing history, on the 400th birthday year of Berwick Bridge, we are engaging with volunteers to design a free, public fishing photographic window display on Berwick high street. Featuring historical images of Tweed fishing around the Old Bridge and Salmon Queen crowning celebrations, the display will make use of dis-used space(s) in the town during the peak tourism season of July and August. The aim is to celebrate local history and heritage traditions with both locals and visitors, during the 400th birthday Berwick Bridge year.

Museums Northumberland will also delivering free Gyotaku workshops alongside artists at many local events in 2024. First introduced by Japanese fishermen in the 1800s to record their catch before the widespread use of photography, Gyotaku (roughly translated as ‘fish-rubbing’) involves inking up a fish, placing a sheet of paper over it, and gently rubbing, thus transferring the texture of the fish onto the paper. The result is an incredibly beautiful and detailed impression print. Try this out at Berwick Bridge 400 Birthday Weekend on Berwick Quayside (3&4 August) and at Berwick Food & Beer Festival on The Parade (17 August). Come along and give it a go!

Get involved

We are currently seeking Historical Photography Volunteers to help design and install the fishing photography window displays in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Interested in finding out more? Download the Volunteer Role description, below. To apply, simply complete the Volunteer Application Form below and return it to the contact listed.

Volunteering

Historical Photography Volunteer – Role Description

Volunteer Application Form

Our Partners 

Museums Northumberland would like to thank Destination Tweed and Connecting Threads, who are part of the Southern Uplands Partnership, for their support and match-funding, as well as Northumberland County Council and the North of Tyne Combined Authority, who are supporting these activities through the Create Berwick initiative.