Alan Campbell today spoke at the unveiling of the Fiddler’s Green Memorial on the Fish Quay in North Shields.  The event marked the culmination of The North Shields Fisherman’s Heritage Project which has raised £75,000 since July 2016 for the memorial to local fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.

Here is Alan’s speech from the day;

“This is an important day for North Shields, and for many, an emotional one.  North Shields has a proud fishing heritage and today marks a new chapter.

But it’s also important to remember North Shields remains a working port.  It’s the biggest prawn port in England and the most important fishing port on the East Coast.

Fishing remains the country’s most dangerous peacetime occupation – at the end of 2016 there were nearly 6000 registered fishing vessels -; but in 2016 there were more than 160 accidents and 9 fatalities. 

As the North Shields Heritage Project says, the true price of fish is paid when boats go beyond the piers.  

Many fishing families have lost or know someone who has lost family or friends at sea. 

We have Julie Myhill here, the partner of James Noble, the skipper of the Ocean Way which sailed from North Shields in November 2014 and which tragically lost James and 2 other crew members.  James may have been the most recent fatality but history tells us he may not be the last.

That is why the memorial is necessary and long overdue. 

It has been a fantastic effort by the team and indeed by the whole local community. 

So I am honoured to be here today as part of this event and to say congratulations and thank you to everyone involved.”

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