Box Office: 0191 454 1234

Join our tour and ‘Follow the Herring’ as it journeys down the east coast of the UK. Focusing on a shared maritime heritage, the tour combines performance, song and
visual arts and offers opportunities for you to get involved and share this journey with us.

We’re inviting communities with maritime connections to get together and explore the binding themes of sea, community and survival so read on for more information and visit the ‘Get Involved’ page for details of hands-on activities.

"That's a waiting quiet, that is. Aye, we're all waiting and watching, every last one of us. Spring is tipping over into summer and the herring should be here. The silver darlings." Get Up and Tie Your Fingers by Ann Coburn


Follow the Herring is a co-production by The Customs House and Guild of Lillians.

Theatre Performance

Get Up and Tie Your Fingers

Written Ann Coburn. Vocal score by Karen Wimhurst

During the 19th century, women from fishing communities along the east coast of Scotland and England, the ‘herring lassies’ as they were known, would follow the herring fishing fleets down the coast to meet the catch at each port of call. With knives at the ready and strips of cloths tied around their thumbs and forefingers to protect form the blades, they gutted, salted, and barreled the ‘silver darlings’, the bountiful herring that were destined for markets across the world.

The 1881 Eyemouth Fishing Disaster was - and still is - the worst fishing disaster Britain has ever seen. With the loss of almost twenty ships and 189 men, entire families and communities were destroyed as the herring lassies could only stand onshore and watch. Against the backdrop of this disaster, Get Up And Tie Your Fingers, gives a fictional account of Jean, Janet and young Molly as they go about their daily lives, tell us their hopes and dreams and deal with their devastating losses. Beyond the grim toll of the sea, there lies a remarkable tale of endurance, survival and courage of the east coast herring fishing communities.

Echoing their journey, through story and song, the Follow the Herring tour takes this tale back to the communities from which it sprang; and gives members of those communities the opportunity to create and participate in a piece of theatre alongside a professional production team. Contact your local venue for details of Follow the Herring community choirs.


Coat for a Boat!

How do you knit a coat for a boat? That question was first answered in 2009 when, led by acclaimed textile artist, Ingrid Wagner, a group of knitters in South Shields came together (with additional pieces sent in from around the world) to design and knit enough sails, and maritime equipment to swathe a 20ft coble from fore to aft, before being launched on the River Tyne. The Coat for a Boat! exhibition is now being cast off again and sails into towns as part of Follow the Herring.

The coble boat, made by the North East Maritime Trust and
The ‘Materialistics’, will be the centrepiece of each exhibition with the scene being set and brought to life by additional knitted, crafted and pieces of art created by each town.

“The style of performance was innovative, not least in the fact that a new category of modern ‘choral theatre’ was forged... The music element stretched everyone involved artistically because of the ambition and intricacy of Karen Wimhurst‘s composition... The design was on an epic scale...and gave the piece a timeless quality that helped it transcend the narrow category of heritage drama... The Guild of Lillian‘s’ intentions of empowering women to tell a story principally about the female experience of a particular moment, from the women‘s point of view were achieved.” The Stage 2005

Click on your nearest venue for more information on how to book tickets, join the choir or knit your own school of herring.

The Brunton Theatre

Musselburgh
Thu 8th May 7.30pm, Fri 9th May 7.30pm

Cocksburnspath

Village Hall
T: 07714806299
Tue 13th May 1pm / 7pm

The Maltings and The Gymnasium Gallery

Berwick
Fri 16th May 1pm / 7.30pm

The Customs House

South Shields
Wed 21st May 7.45pm, Thu 22nd May 2.30pm / 7.45pm, Fri 23rd May 7.45pm, Sat 24th May 7.45pm

Town Hall Theatre and Hartlepool Art Gallery

Hartlepool
Thu 5th June 7pm, Fri 6th June 1pm, Sat 7th June 7pm

Hull Truck Theatre

Hull
Wed 18th June 7.45pm, Thu 19th June 7.45pm, Fri 20th June 7.45pm, Sat 21st June 2pm / 7.45pm

Grimsby Minster and The National Fishing Heritage Centre

Grimsby
23rd - 28th June 2014

Kings Lynn Arts Centre

Kings Lynn
Fri 30th May 2pm/7.30pm, Sat 31st 7.30pm

St Georges Theatre and Tide and Time Museum of Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth
Wed 2nd July 7.30pm, Thu 3rd July 2.30pm, Fri 4th July 7.30pm, Sat 5th July 2.30pm

Margate Theatre Royal

Margate
Thu 17th July 7.30pm, Fri 18th July 7.30pm, Sat 19th July 2pm

Folkestone Quarterhouse

Folkestone
Fri 25th July 7pm, Sat 26th July 2pm / 7pm

Hastings

The Stade
Thurs 31st July 7.30pm, Fri 1st August 7.30pm
Ways to Get Involved

Download

The awesome interactive ‘Follow The Herring’ resource, see the Herring Lassies in action, hear the captivating music, learn all about the history of these remarkable ‘Herring lassies’ and their unheard story.

Schools

Ch-arted is a new, accessible, exciting and engaging website where you will find a range of free and paid for educational tools, projects, class room activities and much more!

Join the Choir

Get in touch with your nearest venue (using the map above) to join your local choir who will be performing in ‘Get Up and Tie Your Fingers’.

More Info on Venue Map
More Info on Venue Map

BY KNITTING A HERRING

Get in touch with your nearest venue (using the map above) to join your local crafting group involved in the project.


Send us a Herring! No matter where in the world you live why not knit us a Herring send it to us and it will join the tour and become part of the exhibition at every venue on the tour.


the customs house, arts council england, port of tyne, the guild of lillians

The Brunton Theatre

Thu 8th May 7.30pm, Fri 9th May 7.30pm

Musselburgh
T: 0131 665 2240
W: www.bruntontheatre.co.uk


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Village Hall

Tue 13th May 1pm / 7pm

Cocksburnspath
E: cockburnspathvillagehall@yahoo.co.uk
T: 07714806299
W: www.cockburnspathvillagehall.ticketsource.co.uk

Tickets can be purchased from the village shop and the community cafe on a Wednesday at the Village Hall.


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

The Maltings Theatre

Fri 16th May 1pm / 7.30pm

Berwick
T: 01289 330 999
W: www.maltingsberwick.co.uk


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

The Customs House

Wed 21st May 7.45pm, Thu 22nd May 2.30pm / 7.45pm, Fri 23rd May 7.45pm, Sat 24th May 2.30pm / 7.45pm

South Shields
T: 0191 454 1234
W: www.customshouse.co.uk


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Town Hall Theatre and Hartlepool Art Gallery

Thu 5th June 7pm, Fri 6th June 1pm, Sat 7th June 7pm

Hartlepool
T: 01429 890 000
W: www.destinationhartlepool.com


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Hull Truck Theatre

Wed 18th June 7.45pm, Thu 19th June 7.45pm, Fri 20th June 7.45pm, Sat 21st June 2pm / 7.45pm

50 Ferensway, Hull, BU2 8LB
T: 01482 323638 Box office
W: http://www.hulltruck.co.uk/book-tickets/buy-online


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Grimsby Minster and The National Fishing Heritage Centre

Thu 26th June 7.30pm, Fri 27th June 7.30pm, Sat 28th June 2pm/7.30pm

Grimsby
T: 01472 358 610
W: www.grimsbyminster.com


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Kings Lynn Arts Centre

Fri 30th May 2pm/7.30pm, Sat 31st 7.30pm

Kings Lynn
T: 01553 764 864
W: www.kingslynnarts.co.uk


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

St Georges Theatre

Wed 2nd July 7.30pm, Thu 3rd July 2.30pm, Fri 4th July 7.30pm, Sat 5th July 2.30pm

Great Yarmouth
T: 01493 331 484
W: www.stgeorgestheatre.com


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Margate Theatre Royal

Thu 17th July 7.30pm, Fri 18th July 7.30pm, Sat 19th July 2pm


T: 01843 292 795
W: www.theatreroyalmargate.com


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Folkestone Quarterhouse

Fri 25th July 7pm, Sat 26th July 2pm / 7pm


T: 01303 858 500
W: www.quarterhouse.co.uk


Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

Hastings

Thurs 31st July 7.30pm, Fri 1st August 7.30pm The Stade Register your interest
FREE

Get Involved Knit or Sing!

To register your interest please fill in the form on the right... and then get practicing!

Fill in the form
Register your interest

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Opening Hours

Box Office
Sun - Tues 10am - 6pm,
Wed - Sat 10am - 8pm.
Performance days
Box Office open until 8pm

The Green Room
10.00am - 4pm - 
non performance days
10:00am - Late -
performance days

Gallery
10:00 - 20:30 (Performance Days)
10:00 - 18.00 (Non performance days, Sun & Bank Hols)