The wife of Pittenweem chip shop owner Eck Wyse has paid tribute to her husband following his sudden death.
The 60-year-old dad-of-two ran the famous Pittenweem Fish Bar before a fire ravaged the premises last summer.
“When we lost the shop it affected everybody in Pittenweem, but especially Eck.
“It was his whole life. We still can’t quite believe we’ve now lost him too,” said Anna, Eck’s wife.
Catching to frying fish
Alec Wyse – always known as Eck – was born on November 7 1962. “Pittenweem born and bred” he was the son of late fisherman Andy Wyse and his wife Wilma.
He had one sister, Shona, and went to Pittenweem Primary School then on to Waid Academy. While still at school Eck had a Saturday job with Adamsons Bakers but on exiting education he went to work with his dad on the family’s fishing boat, the Emulate.
After his father died suddenly in January 1995, Eck left the fishing industry and took over the Pittenweem Fish Bar with his mum, Wilma.
“Instead of catching fish he was frying them, that’s what we would always say,” said Anna.
Romance blossomed for Eck in 1980 when he bumped into Anna, his sister’s friend, at the Craw’s Nest disco. They got engaged in 1983 and married on April 19 1985 in Anstruther Church.
The couple’s son Murray was born in December 1987 and daughter Hannah in May 1991.
Over the years everyone in the family contributed to the running of the shop – which gained a national reputation for being one of the best in the East Neuk.
Wilma, now 85, only retired recently, but Hannah still worked with her dad until the fire.
Anna said: “A lot of blood sweat and tears went into that shop. The queue used to be out the door and round the corner. Eck loved it though. He was a workaholic and put everything into it.”
In August 2022 a fire broke out completely destroying the Main Street shop.
“Eck never really got over it. None of us did. It was absolutely devastating.”
Though Rangers-fan Eck had to be rescued from the blaze it was the loss of his business that profoundly impacted him.
“I mean, it was like losing a limb. Really heartbreaking. For 28 years everything revolved around the fish bar. We found a lot of comfort in the support we received from everyone in the village. It was the heart and soul of Pittenweem,” explained Anna.
Eck died on January 31, suddenly at home.
A “traditional Pittenweem funeral” will take place on Monday February 27.
Music from his favourite band, Madness, will feature in the service and the family plan to walk behind the hearse.
“Eck was the life and soul of every party. He loved to dance, loved music… that’s how I’ll remember him; dancing with the kids. He wasn’t very good mind, but he just loved it.
“He could be serious at times but loved to have fun too. We just can’t get our heads around him not being here any more. We’re all devastated.”
Eck is survived his mother, wife and two children. He was also a doting dye to his three grandsons Andrew, Jordan, Eddie.