Another photograph taken at Gorleston harbour mouth.
A busy scene at the fish wharf in Great Yarmouth from 1904.
Once into Yarmouth, the days catch was unloaded at the fish wharf. These are probably
herring seen above which were known locally as “silver darlings”. Such was the extent
of the fishing industry in Great Yarmouth around this time that, in 1907, some 80
million herring were brought to the fish wharf on one single day alone!
Baskets of fish lined up on the quay side at Great Yarmouth.
Another photograph taken at the same time.
Another image of the fish wharf taken by Donald in 1904.
The herring girls pictured at Great Yarmouth gutting and preparing the fish for packing.
Herring is a migratory fish and large groups of these girls, mainly from Scotland,
would follow the fishing around the coast of Britain. It was hard and back breaking
work, but also a highly skilled job and, because of the sheer volume of fish brought
into the ports, there was not enough labour to be found within the local fishing
communities, hence the need for this travelling workforce.
There were over 8,000 herring girls working in Great Yarmouth at this time. Temporary
herring stations were set up in the ports as they moved around the coastline and
the conditions in which the girls worked and lived were extremely harsh. Huts were
usually erected to provide very basic living quarters although the “Scotch Girls”
who worked in Yarmouth were somewhat better off, as many found accommodation in the
hundreds of boarding houses which had sprung up to cater for the influx of tourists
during the peak summer months.
A double ended “Zulu” fishing boat from Banff makes it’s way in to port through the
harbour entrance at Gorleston in 1904.