Tuesday 29 January 2019

Grimsby Dock visits....Part One of several. Alfred Enderby's Smoke House.

I recently had the opportunity, along with members of my camera club (North East Lincolnshire Photographic Society), to visit a traditional fish smoke house on Grimsby's  Fish Dock.

The fish dock at Grimsby was once the biggest in the world with dozens of smoke houses plus many large and smaller fish merchants  processing fish for our table.

The demise of the fishing industry in the 1970's caused a lot of these family run firms to close but there are still a few survivors, including a few smoke houses and Alfred Enderby is one of them
having been in business here for over 150 years.  

There was no fish being processed or smoked on the day of our visit but Patrick Salmon
gave us a very in depth talk about the history and process of how fish is prepared and smoked.

Behind each of these doors is a traditional kiln for the smoking of the fish, they extend up
through the ground floor and continue on the top floor above.

Here Patrick shows tar that has built up on the inside of the kiln and doors over more
than one hundred years.   The smoking process extends the period the fish can be kept fresh
for eating.

Detail close up of the tar on the inside of a door.

Several kilns for the smoking of the fish.

The fish is prepared in the baths of brine and then hung to dry on the racks.
Lastly the fish is hung in the smoke kilns overnight.
A bag of sawdust can be seen which, when slowly burnt, produces the smoking of the fish.
Patrick explained that they don't use Oak sawdust, as most people assume, but he wouldn't 
actually say what type it was...….that's a trade secret!!

Filleting & preparation tools of the trade. 

These are used to remove bones from  Salmon Fillets.

It was a grim & cold day for our visit so the relative warmth in the smoke house was appreciated.
This is the view over the fish dock and in the distance can be seen the cowls of another smokehouse.

The washing & preparation area and at this point I must stress how spotlessly clean
everywhere was. 

Patrick demonstrated how a fillet of smoked salmon is prepared for sale and he let us all taste
some strips of it.

A cross section of the beautifully smoked and prepared salmon.

Another quick look at a latch on one of the smoke kiln doors.

Note the recommendation of Rick Stein on this quality award.

A display of photographs of Alfred Enderby's work over the years.
(NOT MY WORK!  I just photographed them)

Further endorsements of Alfred Enderby over the years. 
(150 years).


People can drop in and buy smoked fish.

Leading up to the area above the 1st floor.

Leading us down.

Up on the roof are the iconic chimney cowls that control the draft from the wind, these are
the traditional sight of a smoke house.

We had a most enjoyable and informative visit to Alfred Enderby's Smokehouse.
Although I'm the son of a Grimsby fisherman I learnt a lot about the process and 
history of the tradition of preparing and smoking fish in the old and traditional way.
Thanks to Patrick for allowing us to visit and also to Stuart Hardy (camera club member)
for making all the arrangements.

Olympus EM10 Mk2 + 12-100 Pro Lens.

No comments:

Post a Comment