Herring man has tales to tell about King of Fishes

A North East writer who has become an expert on the herring – is to share some of his tales.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:32 pm
Graeme Rigby, author of the online Rigby’s Encyclopaedia of the Herring, will give a talk at the Fish Quay heritage centre.

Graeme Rigby, author of the online Rigby’s Encyclopaedia of the Herring, will give a talk at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields, on Saturday, October 9, at 11am.

Tickets, at £4 (Old Low Light members free), must be booked online at https://oldlowlight.co.uk/event/a-short-history-of-the-herring/

Graeme’s talk is part of a programme of events supporting the centre’s current exhibition, “That’s Women’s Work”, which includes the story of herring girls who every year travelled from northern Scotland down the coast behind the fishing fleet to clean, cure and barrel the catch.

Graeme said: “When I researched the herring, I always felt there was more to find out.

"Not so many people in this country eat it these days but there is more beautiful information about it than any other fish.

"It has been part of culture for hundreds of years, it has been economically significant, the herring girls played a role in enabling the financial independence of women, here and in other countries, from a natural history point of view it is interesting and having been the butt of jokes, it is a comic King of Fishes.”

Initially he planned to write a book but realised that he could be adding to it all the time.

“The joy of an online encyclopaedia is that unlike a book there doesn’t need to be a beginning, middle and end,” he added.

"It was the best way forward because there is so much stuff about the herring – so many wild cards and rabbit holes of information.”