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Organised by Hastings Borough Council, the 5th annual Hastings Herring Fair took place last weekend, 5th and 6th November.

The Hastings Herring Fair was set up 4 years ago to promote the herring which is in our seas at this time of year. The Hastings fishing fleet use traditional fishing methods which ensure that the fish are caught in a sustainable way, so helping to conserve the stocks.

“This is one of my favourite festivals of the year; chilly and intimate with a great atmosphere. We’ve had some tremendous feedback on how much visitors enjoyed the fair and it was good to see so many local people and visitors including some from as far afield as Cornwall attend” said Cllr Peter Chowney leader Hastings Borough Council, who opened the event on Saturday.

He added: “Although disappointingly there were few herring in the sea off Hastings due to the very warm weather, there was still plenty of fish for tasting including locally smoked kippers, bloaters and buckling and some excellent demonstrations in the Classroom on the Coast delivered by CJ Jackson from the famous Billingsgate Seafood Training School.

“The fair this year coincided with the fantastic news that we’ve been successful in the second round of Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) EU funding to the sum of £800 000. This could fund a number of future projects to benefit the local fishing industry including a brand for locally caught sustainable fish and a new ice making machine.

“Our thanks must go to everyone that helped organise the event, the traders, musicians and performers and of course all the visitors – it really was another famously fantastic fish fair.”

Hastings Herring Fair 05 – 06 November 2016 

Organised by Hastings Borough Council and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), the fifth annual Hastings Herring Fair will take place at the Stade Open Space in Hastings over the weekend 05 and 06 November 2016.

“We are pleased to present the Hastings Herring Fair again this year which aims to promote the local herring industry and showcase the versatile herring which is so abundant at this time of year.” explained Cllr Kim Forward the council’s lead member for marketing.

“After the successful classes held at the Seafood and Wine Festival, the famous Billingsgate Seafood Training School will be back to deliver cookery classes in the Classroom on the Coast on Saturday 05 November. These special herring taster classes will teach you how to prepare herring and you’ll be able to take some home to cook” added Cllr Forward.

There’ll be demo’s from local forager, Sarah Watson of Wild Feast and lots of stalls offering mouth-watering fishy dishes, vegetarian options and plenty of local wine together with a beer festival run by the First in Last Out (FILO) public house and a host of music and entertainment including shanty singers, bands, dance performances and a ceilidh until 4.30pm on Sunday 06 November to top it all off.

“Once again the fair promises to be an exciting weekend full of all things fishy and don’t forget this is an undercover event so won’t be affected by wet weather! “said Cllr Forward.

The Herring Fair takes place at The Stade Open Space, Rock a Nore, Hastings on Saturday 05 and Sunday 06 November 11am – 4pm both days. Full details of all festival events can be found at http://www.hastingsfestivals.com/herringfair

To avoid disappointment book the Billingsgate Cookery classes in advance. Places are £6 per person, contact Billingsgate directly 020 75173548. Class times are 11am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm

The second Hastings Herring Fair will take place on 9th and 10th November at the Stade Open Space, Old Town, Hastings 11am to 4pm.

Run by the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), the fair aims to promote herring and the Hastings fishing fleet to the general public and professional chefs alike.


The Hastings Herring Fair is now in its second year and is a great day our for people of all ages especially if you like Herring.

The fishy weekend starts on Friday evening, 08 November, with a pre-fair ‘Silver Darlings Banquet’. Chef Paul Webbe’s specially created six course menu will be held at Webbe’s at the Jerwood Café.

The weekend continues with stalls showcasing herring cookery and smoking skills.  The History House and the Fishermen’s Museum will tell the history of the herring fishery and there will be talks and exhibitions in the Stade Hall and, of course, no Hastings event would be complete without fine musical entertainment from local musicians and shanty singers.

The Stade Hall will be showing ‘Generations of Hastings Fishing Families’ a photographic exhibition by local photographer John Cole. All money received from sale of prints and postcards will go to Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society.

Cllr Peter Chowney lead member for regeneration and Chair of FLAG explained:

“We are pleased to be able to fund the second Hastings Herring Fair. The aim is to promote the local herring industry and showcase the herring which is so abundant at this time of year.”

“Once again the fair promises to be an exciting weekend full of all things fishy and don’t forget this is an undercover event so will not be affected by wet weather!”

For full details visit hastingsherringfair.com (article originally appeared on HBC’s newsletter @bout)