Remembering those who gave their lives to fishing

A tribute to Scots who have lived, worked and died in the fishing industry is to be unveiled next week.

The eagerly anticipated Aberdeen Fishing Memorial, which commemorates the major contribution fishing has made to the city’s life and heritage, will be unveiled on Wednesday, 27 June.

The bronze figures – one of a man and the other a woman – will be unveiled by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett at 5.45pm at the front of Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow.

David Williams-Ellis, one of the world’s leading figurative sculptors with numerous prestigious commissions to his name, has created the artwork.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: ‘Earliest records of the fishing industry in Aberdeen date back to the 1100’s with evidence of the first wooden harbour at Shiprow.

‘The Shiprow is the ideal location for the memorial, which will be a lasting tribute to the men and women who lived, worked and died in the fishing industry, and to commemorate the major contribution fishing has made to the city’s life and heritage.

‘I think Aberdonians will be pleased when they see the finished artwork and I hope they come along to the unveiling.’
Sculptor David Williams-Ellis said: ‘There were many factors that made this commission so interesting to work on. My personal interest in fishing and the fishing industry, working from life with models and its historical context all made it an incredibly rewarding project.

‘The unveiling will be a culmination of a lot of hard work and I hope that what I have endeavoured to do will give the people of Aberdeen a fitting and lasting memorial within which they can recognise the role of so many men and women over the centuries and enjoy for years to come.’

The ceremony will include the premiere of a specially commissioned a set of songs called Echoes of Aberdeen’s Fishing Industry, performed by Hanover Street School choir. The songs have been developed by the primary school pupils themselves supported by Music Service staff and inspired by the fishing songs traditionally sung by fishermen and women.

Aberdeen City Council commissioned the statute and several local companies, with strong connections to the fishing industry, have contributed to the funding of the artwork.

These include the Craig Group, Andrew Marr International Ltd, Richard Irvin Energy Solutions, The Wood Foundation, the Lewis Family and ex-trawlermen Mr H F Gordon and Mr R Youngman.

To ensure public safety for the unveiling of the statutes Shiprow will be closed to traffic from 5.15-6.30pm on Wednesday 27 June.