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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:2018 5 25 07:13:39 GMT
1836 Bishop - Bloaters
greetings from "down under" Wondering if there is a reference to what "Mr Bishop"'s Christian name or business name may be please? A direct ancestor of my wife (Thomas Johnson BISHOP) is listed on the 1841, 1851 & 1861 census details as a fishmonger at Great Yarmouth. Might it be possible that he, or one of his family, could be the BISHOP referred to? Hope you can help. Geoff
Geoffrey Cuckson Victoria, AUSTRALIA

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Great Yarmouth's Herring Curing Industry

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Ways to cure a herring

In 1387 Dutchman William Beukels developed a method of preserving herring. As soon as they were caught, the gills and guts were removed. The fish were sprinkled with salt and packed in barrels head to tail.

Soon, fish were cured in a variety of ways. Curing is a two step process. In the first step, fish were taken to the curing houses and soaked in large brine tanks. How long this was done for depended on the cure – for example bloaters were soaked for 7 days. Fish were slid onto speats and were hung in one of the chambers.

There were three main types of cure. Until the 1830s most fish were smoked, mainly for export as red herrings. They were smoked for at least a week, but often longer, turning the fish a brownish red.

In 1836 a local curer named Bishop reputedly created the lightly smoked bloater. They were cured using heat rather than smoke (so really were dried, rather than smoked) and were suspended over hard wood fires for 6-8 hours.

1845 saw Newcastle curer John Woodger adapting the traditional salmon cure for herrings, creating the kipper. Here, herrings were split open before smoking.

In the 1890s the Scots cure became popular, particularly for export to Germany and Russia. Essentially the same as Beukels’ method, it was also known as white herring.

 

Comments

Posted:2018 5 25 07:13:39 GMT
1836 Bishop - Bloaters
greetings from "down under" Wondering if there is a reference to what "Mr Bishop"'s Christian name or business name may be please? A direct ancestor of my wife (Thomas Johnson BISHOP) is listed on the 1841, 1851 & 1861 census details as a fishmonger at Great Yarmouth. Might it be possible that he, or one of his family, could be the BISHOP referred to? Hope you can help. Geoff
Geoffrey Cuckson Victoria, AUSTRALIA

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 5 of 7 next

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