Rigby’s Encyclopaedia of the Herring

A work in progress with no end in sight

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SINGING THE FISHING

Always at the forefront of documentary innovation, the herring swims through the great Radio Ballad of 1960

SHOALS OF HERRING, THE

Written for the BBC's Radio Ballads, a song by Ewan McColl which has entered the traditional music repertoire and is sung by many

DRIFT OR GILL NETTING

On the nets used by drifters in a largely abandoned, but sustainable method of catching herring now developed unsustainably elsewhere

A-Z Entries

VENTJAGER

How they got the good new herring from somewhere off the coast of Scotland to wealthy Dutch burghers fresh from a hard day of being painted by Rembrandt

WEDGWOOD

In which we lust after that object of desire, the Wedgwood Queen's Ware herring dish (c 1780)

WHITE HERRING

On the nature of white herring, its international markets and its historical underachievement with the Great British public

WHY HERRINGS LIVE IN THE SEA

A curious origin myth for maritime as opposed to land-based rat-catching herrings, related in an Estonian folk song

WITCHCRAFT

The role of herrings in England's penultimate witch trial and the subsequent part the narrative played in shaping the hysteria in Salem

X, CRUX OR KRUIS BRAND

An entry that possibly should have been filed under C, but which spuriously allows alphabetic completism

YAWL

On the nature of the boat known as a yawl and the difference between the Norwegian and Scarborough versions

ZOOLOGY

Heavily reliant on the zoological description of the Soviet systematist AN Svetovidov, an account of what a herring is

ZULU

A compromise between the Fifie and the Scaffie, a boat with a popular design which didn't adapt well to the introduction of steam

ZUYDERZEE

Home to a once distinct population of inshore herrings lost to the dyke building tendencies of The Netherlands