When: 18th November 2017
Where: Clovelly Harbour, Clovelly village, North Devon
£: Admission to the village costs £7.25 for adults, £4.40 for children and £18.40 for a family. Children under 7 years go free
What is it?
November is the time of year when the historic fishing village of Clovelly, in North Devon, celebrates with its annual Herring Festival. The event is held to promote the nutritious ‘silver darlings’ and support carefully managed fishing.
The village once depended on the harvest of herring, which are caught for a short season off the coast. Records go back over 400 years, and in 1749 there were a hundred herring boats in the port. When fishing was good, 9000 herring could be landed at one time. Those days of massive catches are long gone, and there remain just two herring fishermen, both of whom still employ sustainable fishing methods using drift nets and long lines.
At this year’s festival, maritime historian and writer Mike Smylie will be displaying his Kipperland exhibition, which is devoted to the history of the herring. Smylie will also be turning herring into delicate-tasting kippers and bloaters in his smokehouse.
There will also be net making, flax processing and a curragh (traditional boat) on show provided by Flaxland. Quay kitchens will be serving a variety of herring specialties, there’ll be chef demonstrations by Felicity Sylvester, as well as beer tastings, local food and craft stalls.
Throughout the day there will be live music, street entertainment, face-painting, henna tattoos, an exhibition of Clovelly herring fishing, a Herring Hunt, and National Trust event-themed children’s craft activities. Also this year, award-winning children’s poet, storyteller and puppeteer Merlynda Jelly-Jaws, will be hosting live fairytelling and walkabout ventriloquism. She will also be selling some of her poetry booklets and posters.