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Great Yarmouth's Herring Curing Industry

Introduction

For hundreds of years, Yarmouth was an important port that played host to a great fishing industry. East Anglian herring fishing can be traced back to the Domesday book, when various herring rents were noted. The process of landing the fish, curing and then packing them created great prosperity for the town – and many jobs for people.

The industry has fluctuated over time, and now we find it has all but gone. This online exhibition tells the story of the curing industry and how is affected Yarmouth.

Comments

Posted:2014 2 28 17:38:31 GMT
My mother, Peggy Boyle, worked the herring seasons in Great Yarmouth, Ullapool, Lerwick and other places. They were over from Donegal Ireland.
Sheila

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Great Yarmouth's Herring Curing Industry

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Fishergirls

Once the fish had been landed, they needed to be sorted, prepared and packed. Fishergirls came from across the country but particularly from Scotland.

Following the herring down the coast, these temporary workers came to boost the population of the town and to help with the mammoth task of gutting, grading and packing the hundreds of thousands of herring landed during the autumn. These fisher girls, often accompanying the seasonal fishermen, were an essential part of the industry. They lodged in local guesthouses bringing much needed money to the town.

A good fisher girl could gut up to 30 herrings a minute – but as there could be up to 800,000 fish a day coming in this was necessary. They wrapped their fingers in strips of cloth to protect them from the sharp knives. Sometimes working 12-15 hours a day (depending on the catch!) their distinctive voices would carry across the quayside.

Comments

Posted:2014 2 28 17:38:31 GMT
My mother, Peggy Boyle, worked the herring seasons in Great Yarmouth, Ullapool, Lerwick and other places. They were over from Donegal Ireland.
Sheila

Add a Comment

In order to defeat spam we require javascript to be enabled in your browser before you can comment on this site.

Previous Page 4 of 7 next

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