Herring History

The North Shields Fish Quay is well-renowned as one of the most important fishing ports of the north and archive footage online shows exactly that.

After browsing the British Pathé website, Sid Cullen a local man stumbled across a video documentary named “Drifters”. The video doesn’t identify the location at which it was filmed, but the local resident recognises the Fish Quay from his childhood.

The video highlights the most important ports in England, of which North Shields was one, and continues the documentary to show the hard work carried out by the fishermen, explaining how the herring were caught in the shallow seas around Britain.

The video account shows us just how hard the fishermen worked and the hard tasks ahead of them each day.

The crew would depart to sea in the afternoon and return early the next morning with their fresh catch ready to sell to the merchants – but those hours at sea were gruelling and heavy work for the fishermen.

“The video reminds me of how the Fish Quay looked when I was a child” says Sid Cullen, “it shows a typical working port as I remember it”. British Pathé, where the video is held, is one of the oldest media companies in the world holding over 90,000 videos of archived footage including newsreel, sports footage and entertainment.

Not only has a great piece of Fish Quay history been found, the video also gives recognition to the Quay as one of the most important ports in the north. The local resident has contacted the archive to inform them of the video’s location and hopefully their information will be updated.

You can view the video at www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=82209

Or, why not search for other videos relating to the Fish Quay’s heritage


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