Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fishermen Memorial Planned

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fishermen Memorial Planned

Article excerpt

A MEMORIAL to fisher men lost at sea could soon be erected in North Shields after a campaign was backed by thousands of people.

Retired fishermen Hen ry Howard and Terry McDermott are leading the project, which has gathered more than 1,800 signatures of support in the space of two months.

The Association of Retired Fishermen, local businesses, fishing boat skippers, visitors, residents and North Tyneside Coun cil got behind the scheme, which is due to be com pleted early next year.

Organiser Henry How ard, from Jarrow, who started going to sea at the age of 13, has been a driv ing force for the project. He said: "We believe the people of North Shields and the surrounding areas really need this memorial to lost fishermen.

"Those people touched by a tragedy of this type need a place to reflect and remember their lost ones; those poor souls who made their living from the sea and one day never came home."

As the biggest prawn port in England, it is one of the few fishing ports in the UK that does not have a memorial to deepsea fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: "As a bor ough we can be very proud of our fishing community - both past and present.

"The efforts they have made, going out to sea in treacherous conditions to ensure we have fish to eat, has cost many men their lives. It is only fitting that we commemorate this important part of our his tory and provide a lasting memorial on North Shields Fish Quay." Henry, 71, worked in the fishing industry for more than 40 years, both in Hull and North Shields.

He said: "The response from the public has been fantastic and the time is right for the people of North Shields to have their own memorial."

At the height of the prawn season, the thriving fishing community wel comes hundreds of fisher men on more than 80 visit ing trawlers and 20 local boats. The memorial will be located on the fore shore in the Clifford Fort and Fish Quay area, where the trawlers regularly leave for the waters of the North Sea.

Coorganiser Terry McDermott, a marine engineer, said: "We all go down to the Fish Quay for our fish and chips and all enjoy the view out to sea through the piers. …

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