Oysters

  The Mumbles Oyster collection by Carol Powell MA  


The Mumbles Oyster Trade 
by Carol Powell MA
The article includesLocation of the Oyster Beds, Dredging, Season, Heyday, Perches and Plantations,  Decline, The Men who worked the Skiffs.     

Some wooden stakes still remain visible, as do the remains of several oyster skiffs,which lie near the sea wall and are a small, but constant reminder of a once proud and hardworking band of men. 

The season was from September until May and in Victorian times, would be commenced with an Oyster fair, when at the skiff‑owners' expense, the oyster dredgers would be given a meal of bread, cheese and beer. This was followed by sports such as donkey‑racing, climbing the greasy pole and sack‑racing.

Mumbles Oysters and The Great Storm of 1881
By Carol Powell MA

Up until 1871, when oyster-dredging reached its peak, the dredging for oysters had been one of the mainstays of Mumbles Life. Some sixteen million oysters were harvested ...


This article sets out to highlight some of the people involved. The 1871 census registers a preponderance of ‘old’ Mumbles names   among the 600 or so sea-going men, who would have used the Horsepool harbour then. Most of them are recognizable to us today . . .

A companion article is entitled
Working  Lives Along the Water's Edge
By Carol Powell MA

The  Decline of the Oyster Industry
By Carol Powell MA
A virus in the early 1920s finished off what was left of the industry forever and the extension of the railway to Mumbles Head was another part of the story.

Fishing Weirs in the Parish of Oystermouth

By Carol Powell MA

Many remember the sight of fishing nets way out in Swansea Bay, comprising a series of nets / weirs stretching across the bay from Blackpill to Mumbles. For a generation of boys, it was a delight to swim the several miles to the net poles and back.


St James, Grotto-building and Oyster Fairs 
By Carol Powell MA

Several proverbs refer to St.James’s Day:   ‘Who eats oysters on St James's Day will never want’ . . . 


Articles by other authors

Magical Oyster Shell Grottoes by by George Webborn

... summer, the local children would put the mountain of shells left over once the oysters had been harvested   to good use, often earning a few pennies into the bargain.   Magical ...

Grandpa Darling by Maisie Harris

... idea of him being away for months or even years at a time.     However, oysters were plentiful in the Bristol Channel, and skiffs from Mumbles were successful in the dredging ...

An Outalong Childhood by Margie Bowden (nee Jenkins)
Memories of the Oyster Trade
I remember when I was still at school, my father used to sell oysters on a big oyster table out by the White Gate