A project to erect a memorial to the hundreds of East Neuk fishermen who lost their lives at sea is nearing completion.
The poignant sculpture of a fisherwoman and child looking out to sea will stand between the current and ancient harbours of Pittenweem.
Fife Council gave the green light for the bronze, lifesize artwork by sculptor Alan Herriot to be installed at Mid Shore and most of the funds for the £75,000 piece have been raised.
Pittenweem Fishermen’s Memorial Association said the statue could be in place within a year, providing a long overdue tribute to the many who never returned.
Chairman Ronnie Hughes said: “A lot of places in Scotland have sculptures relating to lost fishermen and there are one or two in Fife and Lothians for miners but there is nothing in the East Neuk, even though these villages were prominent in the fishing industry.
“The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther has a memorial room but there is no general memorial outside at the harbours.”
Mr Hughes, a retired fisherman, said communities from Crail to Upper Largo had lost around 400 fishermen over the centuries and many people living there today know someone who has lost their life in one of the most dangerous livelihoods.
He said: “In my time I have known 19 men that have lost their life at sea and lots of people here have the same story to tell as me, and we don’t forget them.”
In years gone by losing a husband to the sea left wives without an income and often several children to bring up alone.
Mr Hughes said: “There can be no more evocative image than a woman and child standing looking for a boat and not knowing whether it will come.”
Community fundraising and grants have generated more than £37,000 and Fife Environment Trust has pledged £25,000.
Activities have included a group taking part in the Kiltwalk and a display of a maquette of the sculpture during the Pittenweem Arts Festival.
Herriot’s sculpture, which will stand eight feet high on a granite block, reflects the work of renowned local artist John McGhie.