Mudcat Café message #2384522 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112601   Message #2384522
Posted By: Phil Edwards
09-Jul-08 - 07:44 AM
Thread Name: Lyric explanation-'cran' in Fisher's 'Final Trawl'
Subject: RE: Lyric explanation
OED:

A measure of capacity for fresh herrings as caught; fixed by the Fisheries Board at 37 gallons (about 750 fish).

Up to 1815 the cran was measured by heaping full a herring-barrel with the ends taken out, which was then lifted, leaving the heap on the ground or floor. In 1816, the Commissioners for the Herring Fishery fixed the capacity of the 'cran' at 42 gallons, Old Wine Measure, which in 1832 was raised to 45 gallons, 42 gallons when 'pined' being found insufficient to make a barrel of bung-packed herrings. In 1852 the contents were given in Imperial measure as 37 gals., making, when pined, a barrel of 30 gals.

You'll be wondering about 'pined' - I know I am.

OED:

To dry or cure (fish, meat, etc.) by exposure to the weather.