2019 Suffolk Herring Festival banner

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd November 2019

The Cut, 8 New Cut, Halesworth IP19 8BY


Celebrating the herring

as a vibrant part of Suffolk's heritage

Jack Rosenthal (above) founded the the Suffolk Herring Festival in 2009, which took place on his field in Middleton.  He wanted to celebrate the herring and its place in our culture and as an important food which is both delicious and very good for you!


With Jack's blessing, the bi-annual Festival moved to the New Cut Arts Centre in 2015. So popular that the succulent stocks of fresh herring were depleted by 2pm on the Saturday and an emergency call out of fresh stock was ordered for Sunday!


We thank Jack for starting the Festival back in 2009 and in 2017 the aim of the Festival is still true to its origins - that the herring is something well worth celebrating and eating!

Jack Rosenthal

Jack Rosenthal remembers, "In 2008 we caught a load of herring off Dunwich. Nobody wanted them as with the closure of the fishery in the 70s (due to stock collapse) they had disappeared from the culinary conscience, this despite having previously been a mainstay of the local diet."


"Discussing the situation with Jill Bowring (the RF shop manager at the time) and customer Kelvin Smith, Kelvin pointed out that all the other countries on the periphery of the North Sea retained their love of herring and celebrated it with herring festivals. Why was there no British festival? We decided to start one."


"The objectives: to have fun, to popularise the herring again, particularly by introducing it to children to support the local fishery (herring stocks had recovered). To make people aware of the health benefits, the tastiness and the cheapness of this sustainable natural asset on their doorstep, to explain the local history of the industry and its legacy

to break even to poke Tesco in the eye (herring are not amenable to long supply chains) and so on."


"In 2009 we tried - it worked. In 2011 it went mega! In 2013 it was big but we were getting tired. We decided to bow out. In 2015 The Cut picked up the gauntlet.    It worked!"

fisherman and nets