taking our culture forward

Capturing the end of a kipper era

Wed, 29 Nov 2023

Moore’s Kipper Yard closed recently after 140 years’ operation in Peel. Footage captured for another project has been edited into a six-minute short film and released online by Culture Vannin so that future generations can share the stories of a traditional smokehouse.

The film explores the 140-year-old history of smoking herring at Moore’s, as told by Paul Desmond, who had been manager of Moore’s for decades. The footage was captured in 2022 by Neil Corlett, whilst working on a different film, ‘Spuds & Herring: A celebration of the Peel fishing industry.’ Neil had the foresight to film a large amount of extra material with Paul as well as a great deal of material inside the building, from the processing and smoking of the herring to the shop. When Moore’s announced its closure at the end of September, Culture Vannin felt it important to commission an edit of this footage for a new film.

James Franklin, Online & Educational Resources Officer at Culture Vannin, says:

“We are enormously thankful to have the footage available to make this film from, as it represents a piece of Peel and Manx history which is now sadly gone. As well as being a beautiful and interesting film in itself, we realise that it is also an important document for the future. The last traditional kipper yard closing in Peel is a key marker in the changing face of the Isle of Man, and we feel it is important to document it through this film.”

As well as the film about Moore’s, a short film ‘How to make a traditional Manx kipper’ has also been made available online.

Peel is, of course, still home to Devereau’s, whose modern kipper curing factory is close to the harbour, ensuring that the Isle of Man is not without kippers.

The films about Moore’s kipper yard can be enjoyed here:

Moore's Kipper Yard

How to make a traditional Manx kipper