What’s next?

“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 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