Aberdeen Fishing Memorial unveiled
The eagerly awaited Aberdeen Fishing Memorial, which commemorates the major contribution fishing and fishing folk have made to the city, has been unveiled today (Wednesday 27 June).
Located outside Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow, the bronze figures – one of a man and the other of a woman – were formally unveiled by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett.
The Lord Provost was joined at the ceremony by David Williams-Ellis, one of the world’s leading figurative sculptors, who was commissioned to create the very special artwork.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “Aberdeen’s Fishing Memorial is a wonderful tribute to the men and women who lived, worked and died in the fishing industry, and it will be a lasting tribute to the major contribution fishing has made to the city’s life and heritage.
“We were extremely fortunate to be able to commission world-renowned sculptor David Williams-Ellis to create these lasting tributes; the bronze statues are simply stunning.
“The Shiprow is the ideal location for the memorial as earliest records of the fishing industry in Aberdeen date back to the 1100’s with evidence of the first wooden harbour at Shiprow.”
Sculptor David Williams-Ellis said: “It has been such a privilege to have worked on this commission. From my personal interest in fishing and the fishing industry, and working from life with models, and the historical context have made this an incredibly rewarding project.
“The unveiling is 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, in which they can recognise the role of so many men and women over the centuries and enjoy for years to come.”
Prior to the ceremony invited guests at the Maritime Museum heard Hanover Street School choir perform three songs in a series called ‘Echoes of Aberdeen’s Fishing Industry’, which the primary school pupils had composed themselves with support from Music Service staff. The specially commissioned songs were inspired by the fishing songs traditionally sung by fishermen and women.
Aberdeen City Council set up a Working Group to commission the statute in 2016 and several local companies, with strong connections to the fishing industry, 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, ex-trawlerman Robin Youngman and Hamish Gordon, former manager of the Aberdeen Fish Producers Association.