What’s next?

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“Fiddler’s Green” Fishermen’s Memorial being made in Ray Lonsdale’s workshop

Yes indeed … what’s next?

Since December 2015 I’ve been helping the North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project (NSFHP) raise £75,000 for a Memorial to fishermen lost at sea from the port of North Shields. I was responsible for Press/PR/Social Media/the newsletter …. amongst other things.

By May 2017 the £75,000 target was reached and on 24 September 2017 the 2.25x life size cor-ten steel memorial was in place on the North Shields Fish Quay. It took about 10 months of serious fundraising to get to the target with the help of the local community, local businesses, Trusts and North Tyneside Council.

So it’s in situ – and I have left the Project to pursue other projects.

The Group continue for another year with a view to carrying out the things outlined at their AGM in December:-

A Memorial Book

Working with Amber films

An Annual Fiddler’s Green Day event on/around 24th September

… and what about me? …. “What’s Next?”

The priority first and foremost is to get back into shape – the last two years sat at a PC writing press articles, newsletters etc for NSFHP together with being a slave to social media to get the word out about the project has paid a toll (a large one!) on my waist line – I need to shed several pounds 🙂

I have joined a gym and have signed up to five classes a week – so I am really hoping to see some positive results soon!

Unfortunately I will still be somewhat ‘chained to the PC’, because as well as pursuing my photography in 2018 (which entails some sitting at a PC) – I also plan to write a book about how the fishermen’s memorial was made.

I visited the sculptors workshop 15 times and photographed it being made – so it seems a natural step really to do something with the 400+ so far (there are more) edited photographs.

2018 is therefore looking quite busy and exciting from where I am ‘sitting’ – or should I say from where I am ‘leaping about’!

Here are a few images by way of a sneaky little peek …

Over and Out!

Well almost… after 15 years I will be ‘logging off’ tomorrow for the last time and leaving my ‘day job’.

Mixed feelings about it– but mainly utter joy at being set free from the 9-5 and being able to do what I actually really want to do (whatever that is – It’ll probably involve photography in some way, because that’s when I am happiest… camera in hand).

I get really emotional when I think about the fact that I am 52 years old and I haven’t really “done” anything…. not anything I particularly enjoyed or wanted to do that is. I would imagine my grand-kids Lola and Elliott asking me “What did you do for a job Nana” – and replying with “Oh, I sold shares to people.” I know what Lola would shout back at me for sure “…. BORING!”
And she’d be right.

The one and only piece of “advice” (for want of a better word) that I would ever give to my grand- kids would be “Find something you want to do in life, something you enjoy doing.”

The various ‘jobs’ that I have had over the years have afforded a nice lifestyle, holidays, pension etc BUT … it’s been a means to an end – something I have ‘endured’…. But can’t endure anymore…. Because now it’s making me miserable …. No way to live the one relatively short life that we have.

It really is true : “Money does not make you happy”.

I used to scoff at this and think “Yeah, Yeah”- but as my step-daughter Kate keeps telling me “Health is wealth” – and she’s right, so before I went completely bonkers I decided ‘enough was enough’ and handed my notice in.

That was a big weight off my shoulders! Goodness knows what I will actually do – but whatever it is I going to make damned sure I make the most of it!

I haven’t exactly written a “To-Do” list, but I kinda have one or two things in my head to get sorted first off in the New Year.

I’m really excited about a Project that I have lined up which I need to get some funding for – it’s working title is “From Steel to Real : The Making of a Memorial”.

The details have yet to be ironed out (and agreed with the sculptor), but in essence I plan to do time-lapse photography (and other stuff) of the sculptor, Ray Lonsdale, making the Fishermen’s Memorial Fiddler’s Green in North Shields which I have been helping to raise funds for over the last 12 months.

I hope to have an exhibition at the end of it, once the memorial is in situ on the North Shields Fish Quay. I like making an exhibition of myself!

A year ago when my hubby Keith and I set out to help the North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project (NSFHP) raise circa £75,000 for a memorial to fishermen lost at sea from the port of North Shields, people would ask me “Why on earth are you doing this?”

Bearing in mind I’m a veggie and cannot abide the smell of fish – this was a reasonable question to ask I suppose!

However, bearing in mind the enormous success the whole team at NSFHP have had (we are half way there), I’m pretty sure that by the end of 2017 – people will be asking “How did you do actually do that?!!”

And do you know what? When I see the fantastic 2.25x life-size sculpture on the foreshore which will be there for 150 years+, I will be immensely proud of my efforts and will take Lola and Elliott for a walk down there and say “Pops and I helped get the money for that sculpture”.

Hopefully Lola will say “…Wow Nana!” (but I won’t hold my breath!)

It’s O-FISH-al

Henry

Henry Howard (Vice Chairman of NSFHP) – it was his idea to start the memorial fund

 

It’s been a while since I posted a blog (just in case anybody has noticed)!

I have been ultra-busy working with the North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project (NSFHP) pretty much every spare moment I have had since Christmas.

The Group, is made up of fishermen, retired fishermen and people like myself who are not connected to the fishing industry – all working towards the same goal of raising around £75,000.

Banner stands 1 and 2

Dave, Terry, Henry and Charlie with our new banner stands

 

NSFHP is a community based project dedicated to creating a fitting and lasting memorial to fishermen who left the port of North Shields and lost their lives just doing their job.

Commercial fishing is the UK’s toughest and most dangerous peacetime occupation.

The Group believe that North Shields (England’s largest Prawn Port) should have a memorial to fishermen lost at sea. North Shields is one of the few ports in the UK that doesn’t have one and we’d like to put that right – so we are raising funds for a memorial and a place for reflection on the North Shields Fish Quay.

Terry McDermott (L) and Henry Howard (R)

Terry (L) and Henry with our collection tins – overlooking the site where the memorial will be (on the grass overlooking Tynemouth Piers)

 

We have spent a fair bit of time getting all the building blocks in place to start raising funds in earnest…. Things such as :-

  •  Applying for a grant to enable us to buy banner stands, business cards, flyers, Public Liability Insurance and other marketing materials to get the word out. We can’t of course use money donated by people to the memorial.
  • Working with North Tyneside Council to firm up how they are prepared to assist us.
  •  Setting up a website www.nsfhp.org.uk
  •  Getting ourselves established on Social Media sites such as:-
  •  Twitter @nsfh_Project
  • LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/north-shields-fishermen-s-heritage-project-398098116
  • Facebook – North Shields Fishermens Heritage Project
  • Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/1/116449651483973775339/posts
  • And last, but certainly not least we have an on-line donation page – https://www.goldengiving.com/charity/north-shields-fishermens-heritage-project

    We have also written a Sculptors Brief and have invited four sculptors to submit their drawings to us. These are now all in so the Group need to select the ones they wish to put forward to a public vote. Asking the public to donate money for something they cannot envisage is really hard – so we wanted to get the design for the memorial sorted as soon as we could.

 

Voting opens on 18 July for 3 months (last day will be 17 October) – we are asking for people to vote for the memorial that they would MOST like to see on the fish quay.

The chosen designs will be on display, together with examples of the chosen sculptors work at our lunch event – at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre – which is just a few weeks away now – Monday 18 July.

If you live locally please call in and say hi!

It will be open to the public 10am-4pm

Here’s where it is – https://www.goldengiving.com/event/LaunchEventOLL

 

Terry McDermott (L) and Henry Howard (R) holding cheque from R W Mann

Terry (L) The Chairman and Henry chuffed to bits we got a £1,000 grant from R W Mann for marketing materials

 

 

How many “Jimmy’s”…..?

So…. the Victor Noble Rainbird exhibition “From Dark to Light” at The Old Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields is over and the amazing sum of £6,007 was raised by the generous visitors to the exhibition who donated money or bought cards, catalogues and Rainbird Prints!

… And money is actually still coming in from Rainbird Prints that we have continued to sell – so the total is getting closer to £6,500.

This was beyond Dave’s wildest dreams – as you can see from the photograph … he’s pretty chuffed!

This was the third attempt by a person/group to raise money for a memorial to Rainbird – so “third time lucky” as they say – I’m so pleased it was Dave and “The Friends of Victor Noble Rainbird” that managed to achieve it!

Dave had visited The Excelsior Academy in Newcastle whose primary school is named after Rainbird in December 2014 and they donated some of the proceeds from a family fun day to the Rainbird Memorial Fund after David gave a talk to the youngsters at school and brought in examples of Rainbird’s paintings and sketches to show pupils.

Dave Young looking rather chuffed - £6,007 raised by the end of the Exhbition at the Low Light Heritage Centre

Dave Young looking rather chuffed – £6,007 raised by the end of the Exhbition at the Low Light Heritage Centre

The planning has now started in earnest to get the Memorial finished and put in place at Preston Cemetery.

Dave has a target of Tuesday 8 March 2016 to have it sorted by. This will be 80 years to the day that Rainbird died in 1936.

Wednesday of this week was ‘moving day’ so to speak of the headstone from Classic Masonry in North Shields (who donated the stone) to Neil Talbot, the sculptor chosen by Dave to carve the headstone.

Classic Masonry in North Shields donated the headstone

Classic Masonry in North Shields donated the headstone

We’ve been a few times to check on progress.The stone was cut to size by Jimmy “One” using an industrial circular saw.

This was used to cut the stone

This was used to cut the stone

Machinery used to cut he stone

Machinery used to cut he stone

Paul then shaped the rounded headstone by hand – that’s quite a skill!

Jimmy

Jimmy “One” from Classic Masonry

Paul From Classic Masonry - he shaped the stone by hand

Paul From Classic Masonry – he shaped the stone by hand

The headstone was wrapped in heavy duty polythene to protect it ready for the trip to the sculptors yard.

Shrink wrapping the headstone for transportation

Shrink wrapping the headstone for transportation

The whole thing weighed about 1/4 ton – so Dave had to hire a truck from Jimmy “Two” with it’s own crane attached to be able to lift the headstone on the truck at Classic Masonry and then off again in Riding Mill where the sculptor will be working on it.

Dave discussing last minute details

Dave discussing last minute details

Jimmy

Jimmy “Two” – loading the headstone on to his van for transporting it to the sculptor

Dave positioning the pallet and headstone on the trolly to transport it

Dave positioning the pallet and headstone on the trolly to transport it to the Sculptor

Neil plans to work on the headstone “outside”….. yes … through the autumn and winter!

He’s going to erect a poly-tunnel to “protect” him and the stone from the weather.

The Sculptor, Neil Talbot with Dave Young and the headstone

The Sculptor, Neil Talbot (L) with Dave Young (R) and the headstone in situ where he plans to work on it!

Neil seems happy with the positioning of the headstone so that he can start work on it

Neil seems happy with the positioning of the headstone so that he can start work on it

The design for the memorial has been sketched out by Neil and agreed by Dave. One of the elements on the headstone  “could” be a North Shields Fisherwoman… Neil showed us a clay model impression of how this might look.

The headstone will feature images that appeared in Rainbirds paintings – fisherwomen, creels and fishingboats.

Clay model of a fisherwoman

Clay model of a fisherwoman

We are planning on returning to see how Neil has progressed with the headstone in a few weeks time…. so watch this space!

If you would like to buy a Rainbird mounted A4 print (make a lovely Christmas gift…. ) – they are £20 each (plus £5.50 p&p or free to collect from North Shields). See my website for further details.

There’s a choice of 4 prints …. this one is my favourite….

North Shields Fisherwoman £20 plus £5.50 p&p (or free to collect from North Shields)

North Shields Fisherwoman
£20 plus £5.50 p&p (or free to collect from North Shields)

Oh…and… the answer to the question “How many “Jimmy’s?” is …. two!