Herrings From North Shields Fish Quay

Our mothers made a great fuss of us and we had baked herring for tea for a few days.

 

On Saturday mornings, we used to walk down to North Shields Fish Quay and watch the trawlers being unloaded. This was done by lowering a large wicker basket (a cran) attached to a derrick. This was piled high up in the hold with fish then pulled up and put on the quayside and put into boxes.

Inevitably, some slithered off the top onto the ground. We were allowed to grab these. We filled our sacks and set off home. Our mothers made a great fuss of us and we had baked herring for tea for a few days. We really felt that we had done something to help our mothers with providing food for the family. Any surplus was given to the people who had no one to get the herrings for them. That’s the way people were then. Neighbours looked after each other.

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