Hundreds celebrate the Hastings catch at Herring Fair

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073247001
Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073247001

Hastings Herring Fair was a great success at the weekend with hundreds of people turning out to enjoy the local harvest of the sea and listen to a top line-up of local bands.

The two-day Fair was opened by Hastings Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling on Saturday morning.

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073559001

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073559001

Herring Fair organiser Rosie Leech said: “It went very well and was busy over the two days,”

This is a good season to catch herring but the unseasonably warm weather meant that catches were down.

Rosie explained: “The boats went out again early on Sunday and did bring back more herring but there were fewer than we hoped for.”

Kevin Boorman, from Hastings Borough Council, said: “It has been a great event and this is the best weather we have had for the Herring Fair since it started. It was so busy on Saturday that many of the stalls sold out of their entire weekend stock and had to restock for Sunday.”

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073139001

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073139001

The annual event celebrates 10 years since the Hastings fishing fleet were awarded Marine Stewardship Council status for sustainable methods of fishing for herring.

The Herring Fair was set up four years ago to promote the herring which is in our seas at this time of year. The Hastings fishing fleet uses traditional, sustainable fishing methods.

The event was funded by the Fisheries Local Action Group, which also had a stall, and there were collections for the Hastings Lifeboat.

Visitors were able to enjoy many free demonstrations from the Essential Wine School, Paul Webbe and food forager, Sarah Watson.

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073749001

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073749001

There was flag making with Radiator Arts for the younger audience musical entertainment from local favourites such as the Hastings Shanty Singers, RX Shantymen and The Salts.

The festival came to a close in rousing style on Sunday afternoon with a barn dance led by top dance outfit The Sugarloaf Band.

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Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073638001

Hastings Herring Fair. Photo by Helen Pope. SUS-150211-073638001

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Pictures by Helen Pope