Put some salt in bottom of small bowl. Place fish skin down. Continue layering fish and salt finishing with a layer of salt. Put weight (dish or plate) on top and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days. Wash herring well and skin. Soak in cold water 1 hour, changing 3 to 4 times. Cut in 1-inch pieces. Drain and pat dry. Boil 3 tablespoons water with 1 teaspoon allspice. Add sugar, vinegar, bay leaves and pepper. Mix until sugar is dissolved. In a one quart jar put 2 cups pickling solution, some onions and herring pieces, laying them and topping with onions. Fill to top with solution. Keep in tightly closed jar in refrigerator 2 to 3 days until ready to serve.
Recipe from The Taste of Gloucester: A Fisherman's Wife Cooks, by The Fishermen's Wives of Gloucester, The Cape Ann League of Women Voters, published by Gloucester Cookbook Committee, 1976