Great Yarmouth History

Prunier Herring Trophy

During the 1930's the herring industry, which was centred in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, was in decline. In 1935 Madame Simone Prunier opened a branch of the famous Paris restaurant Maison Prunier in London. Shortly after coming to London she was made aware of the plight of the East Anglian herring industry. Madame Prunier decided to award a trophy to the drifter that netted the highest crannage of herring in one shot, in one night. The trophy would be held for a year. With the trophy went a cash prize of £25, an invitation for the winning crew to dine at her restaurant in London whilst spending two days sightseeing in the capital all at her expense. The runner-up received a cash prize of £25. If an English boat took first prize then a Scottish boat took second prize and vice versa. The winner also received a weather vane to be fixed to one of the boat's masts.

The Prize

The trophy itself was made from Purbeck marble and was carved by Charles Sykes the sculptor.The trophy was unveiled at Madame Prunier's restaurant on 20th September 1936 and it depicts a hand rising from the waves holding a herring. The trophy can now be seen in the Maritime Museum which is located in the Sparrow's Nest in Lowestoft.

First and Last

The Prunier Trophy Winner 1936: The first winner of the trophy was the Steam Drifter Boy Andrew which was built in Aberdeen. The skipper was J Mair and the catch was 231 crans of herring.

The Prunier Trophy Winner 1966: The last winner of the trophy was the Motor Drifter Tea Rose which was built in Fraserburgh. The skipper was C Duthie and the winning catch was 128 crans of herring.