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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Fish festival will be the catch of the day for coast's visitors

The North York Moors coast celebrates its fishing heritage with a ten-location festival featuring free tasters of freshly-caught and barbecued seafood, sea shanties, sketching workshops, a fortune-telling salmon and the unveiling of the newly-restored RNLI fish donation box.

You shall have a fishy ... this Staithes fisherwoman scene points back to a rich fishing heritage that will be celebrated along North York Moors coast this month. Photo by Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media). 

Fish. Fillet. Feast! on Saturday 18 June includes activities for all ages from Saltburn to Ravenscar. Villages including Runswick Bay, Sandsend and Robin Hood’s Bay are taking part as well as Staithes, the largest fishing port along the North East coast back in the late 1800s.

Scarborough arts development company Create is organising the one-day event for the North York Moors National Park Authority. The day begins early when local fishermen venture out to sea to bring back the day’s catch.

From mid-morning onwards chefs at various seafront venues, including Lorna Jackson of Real Meals Delicatessen in Saltburn and former seafood chef of the year Rob Green, will share with visitors how to prepare and cook the freshly-caught fish before serving visitors with free tastings of barbecued morsels.

A string of restaurants along the coast such as Cleveland Corner Bistro in Staithes, the Cliffemount Hotel at Runswick Bay and Dunsley Hall near Sandsend will serve special, affordable fish dishes to mark the occasion.

The day’s entertainment continues with storytellers sharing fishy tales, interactive performances such as the fortune-telling Salmon of Knowledge, sea shanties and folk music, and opportunities for visitors to knit, paint, sketch or print their own fish design.

Visitors can also browse the numerous art galleries and studios showcasing the talent of local artists and craftsmen.

Creative fish-themed photography that has been produced by pupils at Saltburn Primary School, Seton Community Primary School in Staithes and Fylingdales Church of England Primary School in Robin Hood’s Bay will be on display, following a series of workshops held by photographer Tony Bartholomew.

In Robin Hood’s Bay, youngsters will be invited to enter a name-the-fish competition for the newly-restored cast iron sculpture that will be unveiled at 11am and will take pride of place on the slipway of the Old Coastguard Station.

Standing 1.2 metres high, The Fish is Grade Two listed and has never been named despite being the oldest known RNLI donation box dating back to 1886. The North York Moors National Park Authority has funded the latest restoration through the Coastal Communities Fund after the feature had been eroded by the sea air and high tides.

Wendy Holroyd, director of Create, said: "Our shores are home to a rich variety of sea life and the day will be a celebration of this, opening people’s eyes to the ways that fishing has influenced the coastline over the centuries and the simple pleasures of eating freshly caught and cooked fish.

“With so many coastal spots participating, it will be easy for visitors to stop off at several places and enjoy the entertainment in fantastic atmospheric surroundings.”

The day runs from 11am until 7pm and most of the events will be free of charge. Timings of events varies and there are different activities happening in each village.

Further information: The programme is also available to pick up from National Park Centres at Danby and Sutton Bank, and at tourist offices, holiday parks, museums, galleries, libraries and businesses across the region.

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