By Sue Woolley
The herring season starts at the end of May off the west coast of the Isle of Man, and the boats followed the fish southwards round the Island, finishing up at the spawning grounds on the east coast by October.
Traditionally smoked over oak shavings, the herring were cured within hours of being caught. The fish were split, cleaned, washed and put through brine, then hung on frames of tenterhooks and smoked over a
slow-burning wood fire for 4-6 hours.
When weighed and packed they were despatched by the morning ferry to the traditional markets of Liverpool, Manchester and Fleetwood.
Kippers are still a popular breakfast dish and can be prepared in a number of ways - fried, baked, poached or grilled. They are a meal in themselves and need no accompaniment other than bread and butter.
Take one or two kippers per person and a knob of butter. Line the grill rack with foil and heat the grill. Dot the fleshy side of each kipper with butter and grill for about five minutes.