A PERMANENT memorial to East Neuk fishermen was yesterday unveiled at Pittenweem in Fife.

Four years of fundraising by a special charity set up for the purpose has resulted in the work by Edinburgh sculptor Alan Herriot DA MRBS, depicting the hardships of men and women who made their living from the sea, and those who lost their lives.

The Pittenweem Fishermen’s Memorial Association has raised more than £75,000, and received support from the local community, industry bodies and corporate partners since its inception in 2016.

It stands at Mid Shore between the town’s new harbour and the old Westhaven harbour, linking past and present.

READ MORE: Scotland's Insider Guide: Pittenweem

Ronnie Hughes, retired fishing boat skipper and chairman of the association, said: “This is a key moment in recognising Pittenweem’s fishing history and the contributions and sacrifices men, women and families have made to the industry. Communities across the country have similar memorials, it is only right that the East Neuk fishing towns should have the same.

“The local community has supported this project from the beginning. It wouldn’t be here without them. We hope it brings some peace and moments of reflection for those who have suffered at the hands of the sea. I know I will visit the site often and reminisce about my time at sea for many years to come.

A plaque on the memorial states: ‘‘We dedicate this memorial to the men and women who make their living from the sea and to those who have lost their lives in so doing.

May we and those who have cause to pass this way in the days to come look upon this woman and child and reflect on the cost of fish down the years, on those who have experienced the shocking breakability of life in pursuing their calling; a mother’s son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a sweetheart.

May we all appreciate anew Walter Scott’s assertion, “it’s no fish we’re buying – it’s men’s lives.”