1st February 2020 8am at Pedwell Norham
Below is a report written for the old .org site
Following an old tradition, the start of the Tweed Salmon fishing Season was given a blessing on Sunday 1st February. The short service conducted by Rob Kelsey, Vicar of St Cuthbert’s Church Norham took place on the river bank at Pedwell Landing. The event drew a small crowd and following the Blessing an angler dressed for the occasion cast a symbolic fly upon the water. The actual season did not start until Monday 2nd February.
Afterward, a wee dram was enjoyed by many of those present. It was not just Norham and local folk who were present for this event, but also visitors staying in Norham who were most impressed by it all.
The Pedwell Landing is one of many sites along the River Tweed where, for about a thousand years, net fishing for salmon was a major part of the local economy, until its demise in the 1980s. With the last Norham nets closing in 2012. In the past, the Vicar of Norham said prayers of blessing at midnight at the start of the new salmon fishing season on 1st February. Part of the tradition was that, if a fish were caught during the first casting of the nets, then it was given to the Vicar! The tradition was re-started four years ago, at the instigation of a local fisherman. The prayers have been adapted slightly to take account of the fact that net fishing has been replaced by line fishing and to incorporate a blessing on the River Tweed and the local ecology, as well as human activity.