The biennial Suffolk Herring Festival was held at The New Cut in Halesworth on the last weekend of October, the first time it’s been at this venue. It was a vibrant celebration of the part herrings [or silver darlings as they were known] have played in Suffolk’s rich fishing heritage.
We set up our stall in the cafe area not really knowing what to expect of the weekend.
Each stallholder had contributed to the herring theme in some way - from vinegar flavoured fudge, beautiful ceramic fish, knitted fish brooches, Southwold fishing boat pictures, to our very own stuffed herrings and note cards.
Soon after opening, visitors began to arrive. As well as the wide range of products on display, they were kept entertained all through the weekend by fine performances in the theatre with fishy related plays, live music and archive film.
There were activities for families too, with great workshops where you could make fantastic fish from sticks, scraps of wool and material. Plus fishy drawing fun on paper plates.
Thankfully the weather was dry and forecast fair, so to accompany the delicious food already available indoors, the barbecue was lit and soon supplied a mouth-watering array of fresh herrings, bloaters and kippers, all served with good crusty bread and delightful toppings. And to accompany this feast there was the very aptly named Red Herring Smoked Ale from the Green Jack brewery in Lowestoft! Visit www.green-jack.com to find out more.
So popular was the barbecue that they sold the whole weekend's order of herring in the first day! A fresh order had to be placed so as not to disappoint the crowds on Sunday.
The event was really well attended and we met some lovely people. There was the usual steady demand for our hand-painted pebbles, but many visitors were also interested in our quirky hand-made pens with tin-can nibs, they relished the chance to try them out before buying. All in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
To anyone that we met, chatted to and to everyone that bought from us this weekend we would like to say a big THANK YOU! We must also thank the wonderful staff at The New Cut for putting on such a brilliant event and making the whole thing possible!
To find out what other events are on at The Cut visit their website www.newcut.org