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Plans for new Fife memorial to fishermen lost at sea submitted

Former skipper Ronnie Hughes and Wullie McNaughton at Pittenweem harbour earlier this year, where the memorial to fishermen lost at sea is proposed to be located.
Former skipper Ronnie Hughes and Wullie McNaughton at Pittenweem harbour earlier this year, where the memorial to fishermen lost at sea is proposed to be located.

Plans for a new statue at a Fife harbour in honour of fishermen who lost their lives at sea have been formally submitted.

The Pittenweem Fishermen’s Memorial Association said there is currently no visible outdoor recognition for the lives lost or the hardships communities suffer.

Sculptor Alan Herriot was chosen to create the statue following a design competition, and a public consultation showed strong support for the installation of the artwork on Pittenweem’s Mid Shore, which is towards the eastern end of the village’s promenade.

Mr Herriot, who has previously created work for The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland as well as individuals in Britain, Ireland, Holland, France and Norway, drew up plans for a life-sized bronze sculpture depicting a fisherwoman and her son, reflecting the work of renowned local artist John McGhie.

How the memorial is expected to look.

If approved, the memorial will stand 2.5 metres tall and will also feature a single grey granite block as a base to reflect the granite setts found in the Mid Shore area.

A statement from the group said: “The proposals represent a high quality piece of public art which would provide a well-designed and sympathetic attraction which is appropriate for its context and location.

“The proposal is compatible with the character, appearance and the scale of the surrounding environment in terms of design and materials and would represent a positive addition to the streetscape, and would respect and enhance the character and quality of the conservation area.”

An example of the artwork of John McGhie, on which the proposed memorial is based.

The cost of the project, including design and construction, is expected to be slightly more than £70,000, including a provision grant of £25,000 from the Fife Environment Trust.

Other funds have also been raised by local fund-raising events.

East Neuk councillor Linda Holt said: “Fishing brought Pittenweem into being and for many centuries provided its lifeblood – sometimes literally, for pursuing a living at sea was fraught with danger.

“Yet while Pittenweem remains the main harbour for Neuk fishermen and historic evidence of fishing in the Neuk is plain to see in its harbours and streets, nothing outside the Fisheries Museum marks the lives lost and hardships suffered by its communities.

“An outdoor public memorial will provide a long overdue place of remembrance for residents and visitors.

“It will connect current and future generations with their predecessors whose lives and deaths created the fishing heritage of Pittenweem and the wider Neuk.”

 

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